The Heelan Crusaders come into the 2020 season ranked 15th in Class 3A, and they are loaded with young talent. So they’re amped up to be back on the field.
“Everyone out here loves the sport, loves the game, and you can definitely tell,” said sophomore catcher Mariah Augustine. “And I think being cooped up for as long as we were brought out the best in all of us to come out and play.”
“We have not started one practice on time this year,” said head coach Zach Nelson “And the reason we haven’t started on time? It’s because we’re early. So it’s amazing.”
With only three seniors on the squad, those younger girls are going to have to step up into larger roles, and they are more than ready to do just that.
“This offseason we’ve put in a ton of work. So we’re definitely ready, especially at these practices we’re bringing 110% so we should be ready to go,” said Joslyn Verzal, a sophomore pitcher.
“We definitely bring a lot, we have a lot of new aspects coming in, a lot of new competitions to see this year,” Augustine said.
The Crusaders fell a game short of the state tournament last year, so the prospect of making it to Fort Dodge is fueling them forward.
“It provides that hunger and that drive to do whatever we can to get there this year,” said senior manager Erin Cleary. “We’ve come so close, we can get there.”
“Our first goal is to make it to State and from there, bring home a championship win,” Verzal said.
Speaking of Fort Dodge, that’s where the Crusaders will open up their season on June 16th, as they take on the #1 team in the state; the Fort Dodge Dodgers.