At the start of a team’s season, there are always plenty of questions coaches need to find answers for.
But the unique circumstances involving the opening of the spring 2021 season — none of the spring teams had a season in 2020 — have created a much longer list of questions than usual. So Chambersburg baseball coach Scott Folmar, like all of his peers, has a lot to learn about his Trojans.
“The kids did get to play all summer, although they didn’t get as many games as usual,” Folmar said. “What hurt was we couldn’t do anything in the fall and we got a late start for our winter workouts.”
Chambersburg does, at least, have a core of players who played on the varsity in 2019, including junior pitcher/outfielder Hunter Stevens, senior first baseman Aaden Newman, junior catcher Greg Cunha, senior rightfielder Joey Maun and junior leftfielder Braden Zeger. Stevens was a Mid Penn Commonwealth second-team all-star.
Other likely starters for Friday’s opener at Carlisle include Bryce Folmar (so.) at second base, Dru Bowling (jr.) at shortstop and Kyle Nolan (jr.) at third base. Stevens will play centerfield when he’s not pitching.
“I think defense will be our strongest asset,” Scott Folmar said, “not necessarily on the mound, but in the field.”
Stevens, a left-hander, will be the No. 1 pitcher, with a batch of righthanders to follow, including Blaine Wilson (sr.), Garrett Swatsburg (jr.), Folmar, Nolan, Wyatt Kissel (so.) and Zeger.
Folmar said, “Everyone will have to give us quality innings, whether it’s one, two or more innings. We’re really emphasizing throwing strikes. If we play good defense like I think we can, we just can’t walk batters — we have to make them hit the ball.”
Hitting the ball well has been the Trojans’ Achilles heel in recent years — as Folmar said, “We have not been very offensive the past few years.”
There is hope for improvement, however.
“I think we have more potential than we’ve had lately,” Folmar said. “We have guys who can play small ball, and some are gap-to-gap hitters. I guess time will tell how they’ll produce at the plate.”
NOTES: Other players who could see time in the infield or outfield are senior Gavin Kissel, senior Evan Wagaman, sophomore Carter Fogal and junior Jaile Cabrera-Reyes … Chambersburg finished 2-18 in 2019, and one of the wins was against eventual state champion Red Land … Carlisle has been moved out of the Commonwealth to the Keystone Division, and Altoona takes the Herd’s place … The Trojans will play a 20-game schedule, with non-league games against Carlisle, Red Lion, Greencastle-Antrim, Waynesboro, Hamburg and CD East … Apologies for the photos (blaming it on the hats).