“Juniors will make up the nucleus, and most of them have some varsity playing time,” veteran coach Dave Lauck said. “Overall we return a lot of good players.
“We have evolved from a power-hitting team to a small-ball team and now we’re back to a power-hitting team. We lost a lot of speed from last year’s team, so we’ll have to make up for that with a doubles-and-triples type team.”
The Rebels’ cause relies heavily upon key returnees: leading home run hitter Scout Leffler and three-sport athletes: leadoff hitter Lauren Fey, doubles leader Jordan Jenkins and Amanda Prather.
Lauck has moved Leffler and Amelia Banister from the infield to the outfield. The Rebels are solid up the middle with senior catcher Abby Hickson, Fey at second, Prather at shortstop and Banister in center field. Senior Maddie Faust adds depth to the outfield.
Jenkins returns to the mound after arm trouble last year with Katie Hiatt and newcomer Amber Linton.
Junior outfielder Kat McClary is out for the season while recovering from a torn ACL.
The Rebels play one of the toughest schedules in the state but, for a change, the sectional bull’s-eye is on defending champion Decatur Central.