Stillwater News Press

Sports

August 6, 2012

Glencoe begins fall baseball season with a new coach

GLENCOE, Okla. — The Glencoe Panthers will have a new skipper in the dugout this season with Tony Cazzelle taking over for Trevor Maxwell.

Cazzelle coached at Glencoe about 20 years ago. Before leaving for Ripley in 1994. Cazzelle’s most recent stop was Mounds. The transition wasn’t just in schools for Cazzelle but sports as well.

“Since 1998-99, I’ve been coaching softball and girls basketball,” Cazzelle said. “I enjoyed softball and played baseball in college. I’m excited to get back in it.”

What excites Cazzelle the most about the Panthers is their work ethic.

“Glencoe has hard workers,” Cazzelle said. “They play hard against tough competition including those big Class A schools that aren’t really Class A.”

Glencoe has an experienced squad returning as only three graduated from last season’s team that went 20-12 and was defeated in the regional round of playoffs. One of the returners include senior pitcher Nathan Melton.

“Nathan is our best pitcher,” Cazzelle said. “He’s a hard thrower. We know we can count on him.”

Cazzelle said one of the nice advantages is having most of his players involved in the sport year-round.

“Playing two seasons really helps us,” Cazzelle said. “Especially in the spring. These guys like baseball and take pride in playing for Glencoe.”

Cazzelle said he will be lean on his strong hitters as the team’s pitching develops.

“I think we are going to hit the ball really well,” Cazzelle said. “We have a lot of guys that haven’t thrown much and will have to see how they do. We got guys that can swing the bat well and hopefully take pressure of the pitching.”

Glencoe opens the season Tuesday against Drummond.

The Ripley Warriors are looking to improve on a 10-17 campaign. Coach Donnie Hoffman said he’s pleased with the team’s progress.

“We were really young (last season),” Hoffman said. “We only graduated one. We didn’t win as many games as we wanted to and didn’t go as deep as we wanted in the playoffs. I think we are going in the right direction and have gotten better the last two years.”

Last season the Warriors were eliminated in the district tournament. Ripley will be led by three seniors — Levi Morris, Cauldon Greenfield and Dalton Watts. Hoffman said he’s excited about the team’s talent.

“Garret Gosney is returning and has one of our top hitting average and stolen bases,” Hoffman said. “I have a host of freshmen that will be used as courtesy runners or to give a guy a day off.”

Hoffman said the competition will be tough.

“As a Class A school you play against larger schools in the class,” Hoffman said. “You got several traditional 2A powers. It’s extremely difficult but can make your ballclub better.”

Ripley opens the season hosting the Ripley Festival Tuesday.

Muhall-Orlando will also have a new coach as Brett Holmes left for Dover. Attempts to get in contact with its coach were unsuccessful. Muhall-Orlando is coming off an 8-19 season.

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