Bobcats led by interim coach
David Svoboda was named Basehor's interim head baseball coach for this season. Svoboda was an assistant coach last year following six years as head coach at Junction City. In his final season at Junction City he led the team to an I-70 League Championship.
On Tuesday Svoboda was out putting his team through its paces in one of the season's first practices. He said he had a challenging task ahead, following up a season in which the Bobcats went to the Regional Championship.
Twelve of the 13 players who saw substantial varsity time for that team have graduated, leaving just last year's second baseman, Lucas Williamson. Svoboda said Williamson might play shortstop this year.
"The best part of this is that right now, with the 30 guys we've got, 21 of them are sophomores or juniors," Svoboda said. "We're hoping to put together a good, young nucleus to go along with the seniors we've got like Lucas, Tyler (Dowdall), Billy Hashman and Adam Smith. We've got the leadership, yet we also have the youth to set us up to be really good in two or three years."
Dowdall said he was impressed with the way Svoboda had stepped right into the head coach role.
"He's pretty organized for getting a late start on things," Dowdall said.
Williamson agreed, saying that the coaching hadn't dropped off any from a year ago.
"He's been around here a little while, and from what I've seen so far I think he'll be a good coach," Williamson said.
Svoboda said his focus was on the future, despite his "interim" title, and that all his decisions would be made with an emphasis on the long-term.
"The title says 'interim,' but everything we do is with an eye towards building a foundation and learning," Svoboda said. "At the end of the year, whatever happens with the coaching situation happens."
Junior catcher Kyle Speichinger said practice was going well, and the team was confident with Svoboda at the helm.
"I think he's doing a good job," Speichinger said. "We're different than we were last year, but I think we'll have a better team than everyone's expecting."