Local Sports Journal

A year after earning a share of the Lakes 8 baseball championship, Coach Jeff Milbourne finds his Newaygo Lions in a new league.

The Lions, who also won a regional title and a berth in the state quarterfinals, is now a member of the CSAA.

“The success of this team will depend on how quickly we adjust to the speed of the game,” Milbourne said. “We are an extremely young team and there is some talent here which had the opportunity to learn from a great group of players from last year’s team.

Key returnees include seniors Asa Bays (pitcher/infield), who will be counted on to lead the young team, Hunter Neiderer (pitcher/outfield), who has worked hard to improve during the offseason and Tim Goltz (pitcher) who will have to log significant innings with such a young team.

Other key returnees include juniors Andrew Middleton (pitcher/outfield), Jake Warren (pitcher/infield) and Brandon Foster (utility). Sophomores Matt Milbourne (pitcher/infield) and Robby Mendham (catcher/outfield) will also be relied upon to make significant contributions.

Key newcomers include juniors Austin Brower, Weston Butler and Isaac Frisbee.

“Pitching wil be key,” Milbourne said. “They have to keep us in games and give us a chance to win at the end. Coming into a new conference will be a tough adjustment not knowing what to expect. Therefore, these kids needs to focus on what we do and not become concerned with the unknown.