2018 Spring Sports Previews: Country Christian baseball
Head coach: Garylee Syphard, 26th season
2017 record: 7-15 overall, 3-11 league play, Special District 2 sixth place
Three-year record: 25-43 overall, 15-29 league play
Last playoff appearance: 2015, lost to North Douglas 4-7 in the first round
Seniors lost: Three – Derek Halverson (All-League winner), Sam Grandle (All-League winner), and Miles Nelson
Key returners: Junior Drew Halverson, senior David Girrens, junior Sean Gilmer, senior Brady Stapleton
2017 season recap: Last year, the Cougars paired up with North Clackamas Christian School to form one team, and gained several solid players, including then-senior Miles Nelson, sophomore Tyler Burch, senior Brady Stapleton, and sophomore Hadden Stark. After the 2016 season, the Cougars had a lot of rebuilding to do after they saw six seniors graduate, but returned a number of solid players, including fantastic all-around athletes Derek and Drew Halverson, Sam Grandle, David Girrens, and Sean Gilmer. Country Christian went win-loss for the first six games of the season, and then hit a bit of a lull by losing five in a row. They managed to pull out a few wins during league play, including a massive 14-0 performance over Central Linn, and finished the season at 7-15 overall.
Season outlook: With the loss of Grandle and Derek Halverson, the Cougars will be missing some of their senior power, but Drew should be able to keep things going on the mound in the place of Derek. Overall, the Cougars have some very solid athletes, and if they can just perfect the fundamentals of the game and minimize errors, they have a shot at pulling out a good season. Mark Grandle, Gilmer, and Girrens will continue to grow and play their roles well, and Drew Halverson will need to step up on the mound in order to put the defense into good positions to make plays.
First game: The Cougars will open the season at Warrenton on Tuesday, March 13 at 4 p.m.