For the first time in the last 16 years, the Sacred Heart Gremlin baseball team will not be under the tutelage of head coach Steve Goodwin.
Goodwin, who just guided the basketball Gremlins to a 25-5 record and an appearance in the Class 2 state quarterfinals, stepped away from the Sacred Heart baseball job following last spring’s season after 15 years.
Sacred Heart’s new coach is a familiar figure. Two-time Class 1 all-state pitcher Jaric Reid, a 2007 Sacred Hart grad, returns to his alma mater. Reid helped guide the Gremlins to the Class 1 state championship in 2006. He went on to play three years of college baseball at Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City.
Reid takes over a team that finished 14-5 last spring and has several players returning from last spring. Sacred Heart lost the district final last year to Santa Fe, the eventual winner.
Returning for the Gremlins are: senior All District pitcher Nick Langston, who will also see time at third base this season; senior rightfielder Blake Nichols; All Kaysinger Conference shortstop junior Caleb Tanguay; junior first baseman Clint Spangler; Junior outfielder Cody Schibi; sophomore catcher Mason Kelchner; sophomore centerfielder Jackson Smith; sophomore infielder-outfielder Garrett Strange; sophomore infielder-outfielder Ben Smeltzer.
Langston went 6-1 on the hill last spring and was named All District. Starters Conner Simon and Kelchner return along with relief pitcher Tanguay.
Sacred Heart lost Cale Spangler, an All Conference, All District and Honorable Mention All State pitcher Cale Spangler. Spangler went 7-1 on the mound last season. Also gone via graduation are first baseman Caleb Morrison and All Kaysinger Conference infielder Rock Curry, now playing collegiately at Missouri Valley College in Marshall.
Top newcomers for the Gremlins include freshman Chance Spangler, Kolin Brace, Brendan Volcko and Jacob Smothers, and senior David Lorandi.
Reid said his returnees and offensive balance are strengths but that pitching and defense are the keys to the team’s success this season.