Sandusky 2023 Spring Sports Preview
Sandusky Varsity Baseball
Head Coach: James Minard
Coaching Record 19-9-1 Last Year’s Record (league)12-0 (overall)19-9-1
Key returning athletes: (please include grade) Barry Lester – 12th, Caleb Minard – 12th, John Minard – 12th, Jackson Kartanys – 12th, Kory Lambson – 12th, Tyler Franzel – 11th
Comments on returning players: These guys all played a major role on our team last year, as all but one of them were full time starters. Barry is headed to Alma to play baseball next fall, and he is the guy that makes everyone around him work harder. He scoops everything thrown his way at first base. He made 1st Team GTCE, All-County, and District teams. Caleb is our leadoff hitter that gets our offense started, and roams center field for us, covering a lot of ground. He was also on the 1st Team GTCE, All-County, and District teams. John is going to take over as our primary shortstop and looking to be in the top 2 or 3 spots in our pitching rotation. He was honorable mention GTCE and all-county last year. Jackson will be pitching at the top of our rotation this year and looks ready to put a hurt on the ball at the plate. He was 2nd team GTCE last year as well as honorable mention all-county. Kory made the most of his limited opportunities and hit a pair of home runs in a game against Memphis, earning GTCE honorable mention for his efforts. This year we’ve asked him to become a catcher to fill the void left by Josh graduating, and he has stepped up and embraced the new role. Tyler had one of the biggest hits of the year for us last year, driving in the game winning run to clinch the GTCE title for us against Ubly. This year he will be another guy that is pitching at the top of the rotation and will be in the heart of our batting lineup. He was 2nd team GTCE and 2nd team all- county last year.
Lost to graduation: Martin Tovar, Robby Eschenburg, Josh Smith, Ashton Phillips
New athletes to the team: (please include grade) – Tanner Taege – 11th, Lukas Kursinsky – 11th, Gabe Drabant – 11th, Gabe Vanderlip – 11th, Nathen Adamson – 11th , Christian Shuart – 11th, Nick Leen, – 11th, Danny Tovar – 10th, Jackson Reinke – 10th
Comments about your team’s strengths/weaknesses and any goals for the season: Our defense should be solid again this year, and that is what we will rely on to keep us in, and win games. Our focus is always to limit our errors and not give teams unearned runs. While we lost some talented fielders, we still have a group that has that engrained in them since youth league. Our goal is to defend our GTCE title and figure out a way to get through a very tough district draw.
Outlook for your league – Where do you see your team fitting in? Being the defending champs, I know we will have a target on our back. Ubly only lost one senior from last year, and they took us to the wire in both games, which we won 6-5 and 1-0. I think we’ll be right there competing for another league title with them. And we certainly aren’t looking past any of the other teams in our league. More than any other sport I think, in baseball anyone can beat anyone on any given day.
Sandusky Varsity Softball
Head Coach: Danny Franzel
Coaching Record 139-125 Last Year’s Record (league)12-0 (overall) 20-8
Key returning athletes: Sr. Mia Levitt, Sr. Annie Ross, Sr. Alyssa Kitchen, Sr. Courtney Shoemaker, Sr. Morgan Taege, Sr. Kelsay Tomichek, Jr. Kalli Bender, Sr. Isabella Stoutenburg
Comments on returning players: We have a good core of returning players for the 2023 season, Mia Levitt will be our main CF and take on some pitching duties, Mia has good spend and a great sense of the game. Annie Ross will be our starting 3rd baseman and a back up pitcher, Annie fields the ball well and can make quick decision at the hot corner. Alyssa Kitchen will split duties in the OF and Middle infield positions with her good spend and strong arm can make the big plays. Morgan Taege will spend most of her time at SS this season, Morgan is a leader, and very quick to the ball and makes a strong throw to 1st. Kelsay Tomichek will hold down 1st base for the team, Kelsay has a good stretch to help us get that close play called in our favor. Isabella Stoutenburg will share some time at the catcher position and add some depth with hitting at the plate. Courtney Shoemaker will split time at 2nd and OF, Courtney does is a great utility player. Kalli Bender will be our main catcher this season Kalli can call a good game and keeps the ball in front of her and stop the other team from stealing bases.
Lost to graduation: Our program lost a good group of softball players to graduation in 2022, 6 starters with speed and power to help win the GTC East. Isabella Drabant, Desiree Bender, Madison Long, Jenna Steeb, Abigal Trepkowski, and Tori Viscogloiosi.
New athletes to the team: Jr. Adalee Kaufman will see most of our pitching duties this year. Adalee has a good sense of the game and can control the tempo with her fastball and change up combo. Jr. Taryn Tank will see both IF and OF play this season, Taryn see’s the ball well and adds good depth to our team of utility players. Jr. Alexis Gough will be seeing most of her time at second base, Alexis has show us she can field the ball and make quick decision. JR. Sofia Garcia will split her time in the OF and IF as a utility player.
Comments about your team’s strengths/weaknesses and any goals for the season: As a team I believe our strength will be hitting, we have been putting in the time on the machine and live at bats, the kids are hitting the ball hard. I think defensively we will have to work hard when we get outside, take the extra reps when we can, and make sure our foot work is right, and seeing the ball off bat to get good jumps will be key. As a coach our Goals for the year are, play competitively, add a GTC East title to the cabinet, and some of those Post season MHSAA trophies.
Outlook for your league – Where do you see your team fitting in? I believe we can and will compete in the GTC East, as always there are a lot of good athletes in the GTC and teams are getting strong every year. I see us finishing well in a close race this year.
Sandusky Varsity Golf
2023 Sandusky Golf – Pre-Season Observations
Coach: John Guttowsky, Years Coaching: 17 Coach Guttowsky Record: (Duals & Jamborees): 239 – 102 70%
Seven Greater Thumb East Championships under Coach Guttowsky. Sandusky has won ten GTE titles since 2002. Two Greater Thumb Conference 18-hole championships, one Regional Championship (2021) First in School History. Four Team State Qualifiers (2002, 2004, 2021, 2022); 2021- 7th in state – Division 4
2022 – 15th in state – Division 3; 2 individual state Qualifiers; Tony Doerr(2003); David Ross(2014)
The last two years have been two of the most successful seasons in Sandusky Golf history. We have gone 40-0 in dual and jamboree matches the past two seasons.
21-0 last season. Both School records. In the past two season our leader has been Christian Long. Christian holds every single scoring record in school history. He is continuing his competitive golf career at Adrian College. He was so enjoyable to work with. Easily, one of the best leaders I have ever had. His work ethic was unparalleled. He set an example for all our players on how you work to achieve goals.
So, how do we replace him? Ya don’t, individually. But, with this group of players, doing it collectively is possible. We return our 2 through 5 positions from last year. Can’t really tell you which of them will play our 1-4 spots this year, because they are also so equal as players. Seniors Brandon Trepkowski(43), Kyle Guibord(45.4), Landen DeLong(45.9), and Junior Carson Shampo(43) all return. All, played vital roles in our success the past two seasons. All 4 improved their stroke averages from 2021 to 2022 by 2 to 4 strokes each.
If they are able to make that kind of improvement again this year, that’s what I mean by collectively replacing Christian. One might wonder if that is possible to have that improvement 2 years in a row. With these guys, yes it is. Now it depends on them and whether they are willing to put in the work to make that improvement happen. Spring can be a tough time for seniors, because as their high school years are coming to an end, there are so many things for them to do. I have a lot of faith in these guys as competitors and them being able to have the discipline to use their time wisely. It’s setting your goals and having a plan get there.
We also graduated our #6 player Colin Hennika. Colin was a steady player for us, being a consistent scorer. So, we need to find new #5 and 6 players in the varsity rotation.
And we have a lot of candidates to do that. The possibilities are great. The group of players we have competing for these spots improved their average from 3 to 9 strokes from 2021 to 2022. Our depth for these spots will create a very competitive situation and that’s always good. Seniors Brenden Long(49.4), Ty Lamm(53), Juniors Carter Krause(47.8), Nathan Flanagan(54), Lukas Franzel(55), Helena Long(53), Sophomore Landen Trepkowski(47.8) will all be competing for the two spots. We also have Junior Braden Bender returning to the team. He showed great promise as a Freshman averaging 48.9, but was unable to play last year. Also returning to the team is junior Sophia Umbreit.
We also have a number of new players out for the team. Mason Campbell, Brady Steeb,
Eva Long, Carson Green, Brie Madaus, Colson Eason, and Fin Nugent. These guys are new to the game. This will be a learning year and hopefully have some fun playing.
GTE: I am very excited that both Harbor Beach and Memphis are bringing teams into our division. Obviously, I don’t know a lot about either. I expect Ubly will contend with us for the conference. I hope Capac and Brown City will be improved. Another exciting part for this season are a couple of new tournaments we will compete in. We will play in a two-day event at the Dream and Nightmare hosted by Ogemaw Heights and at Forest Akers- West, where the state finals will be. I believe in challenging our players and these two tournaments will do that.
We are also hosting the GTC 18-hole tournament and the Region 16 state tournament.