The Century baseball team has a decorated last few years, winning the last two state titles in baseball. But with COVID shutting down potentially their best season, it’s all about picking up the pieces in 2021 with the hopes of another championship.
When you look around the field, there are plenty of new faces. Not a single player returning for the Century Patriots has played at the varsity level. Growing pains that one familiar face, head coach Kent Schweigert, will have to go through.
“I think there’s a lot of enthusiasm,” says Schweigert. “Watching some of the kids in open gyms and this and that, there’s some good baseball players out there, but they’re going to have to adjust to that varsity level in one big hurry.”
The urgency is there, this group of seniors know the past championships means nothing in 2021.
“I would say that, although we won state, this is a brand new team,” says senior Ryan Keup. “So I think that building ourselves up as this team, and I think every year is an individual team rather than we are the Patriots, we were state champs back to back.”
Topping the list of priorities is pitching and defense, a whole new rotation will determine how far Century will go.
“That’s the number one thing with our pitchers,” says Schweigert. “It’s that ‘hey, throw strike. Don’t hurt yourself by walking people and so on.’ Cause now that puts on pressure on the defense and a lot of things can happen. So make them earn their way on.”
Despite the youth, the Patriots say they want to compete, and be there in Mandan holding the trophy once again.
“I think as the year goes on, I think you’re going to see a team that’s going to grow quite a bit,” says Schweigert. “And by the end of the year, I think we can throw a pretty good baseball team out on the field.”