The seemingly endless snow and cold temperatures relented just enough for the scholastic baseball season to play a few games during the past week.
Before the weather permits the teams to get into a regular schedule and routine, there is just enough time to empty the preseason notebook:
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High percentage: North Star coach Chris Evans enters his sixth season just six wins shy of 100. Evans is 94-29 in five seasons, a .764 winning percentage, with three District 5 titles and two WestPAC crowns.
Last season the Cougars won their first 20 games before falling to Bishop McCort in the PIAA playoffs.
Six starters return, including pitchers Shane Supanick and Dalton Rice, though North Star will miss Tony Strasiser.
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Triple Pfeil: The name Pfeil is well known throughout the region’s baseball scene both in the high school and AAABA circles.
This season, three Pfeil cousins each will be head coaches of three area LHAC programs with storied histories in District 6.
Kerry Pfeil took over the Greater Johnstown top job after local icon Dee Dee Osborne retired after 25 seasons. Kerry Pfeil had been Osborne’s assistant for eight seasons and played a significant role in coaching third base, handling signals for pitchers, and making strategic decisions in recent seasons.
Kerry’s older brother Chris Pfeil is in his fourth season as head coach at Bishop McCort. Under Chris Pfeil, McCort won a Class A state title in 2012 and advanced to the PIAA quarterfinals last season and in 2011. Chris Pfeil also is one of the most successful AAABA Tournament managers all-time in his roles with Martella’s Pharmacy and the former Johnstown Grays.
Cousin Matt Pfeil is in his eighth season at Bishop Carroll, where he led the Huskies to the District 6 Class A title in 2011, beating his cousin’s McCort team in the championship game. Carroll is coming off a 6-13 season and two straight sub-.500 years, but has eight starters and four other key returnees in the lineup.