The McLennan Highlanders baseball team started practice today and nobody was more excited than head coach Mitch Thompson.
"I told the guys this morning this is the third best day of the year. The first best day is going to be when we win the national championship. The second best day is opening day. The third best day is today -- first day of practice."
Thompson is replacing 7 of his 9 positional players, but in the JUCO ranks reloading is a way of life.
"We return a lot of guys on the mound. We're really young position player wise, but we're really deep on the mound. We've got good depth position player wise as well, but we're young. So, we've got a lot of new faces. We'll probably only return 2 or 3 starters from our line up so it'll be a different group."
That different group has the same expectations as last year's Region V finalist club did despite losing an MLB second rounder like catcher Josh Breaux.
"I tell them when I recruit them. The goal is to get to a division one program or in the draft and if you come here and bust your tail you'll have a shot to do it."
But first? A trip to Grand Junction, hopefully.
"If we can stay healthy, I like our chances."
The Highlanders open the season Jan 25.
Copyright 2019 KXXV. All rights reserved.