Mathews appears to reload with young core | News, Sports, Jobs

Employees file photo / Brian Yauger
Mathews’ Olivia Matheny celebrates with teammates for the duration of a game final season Matheny is set to be one particular returner who will make an effect for Mathews.

A single of the gold requirements of Trumbull County softball more than the final decade and a half has been Mathews. Whilst the group has a young core, the expectations are the similar this year as they are practically just about every year.

Immediately after a short reprieve to devote time with family members, a familiar face is back to guide the Mustangs system this season. Longtime coach Jim Nicula is returning to the Mathews dugout for his 12th season with the system exactly where he’s amassed a record of 207-47 at the helm.

The Mustangs boast a young lineup, but there’s lots of encounter nonetheless in the mix. Mathews returns a sophomore-heavy lineup that saw a important quantity of playing time final year. Headlined by sophomores Olivia Matheny, Ava Shugart, Kelsie Newsome and Ashia Pate, as properly as lone senior Gianna Toto, the Mustangs are in good shape heading into the year.

“There’s a lot of equal talent,” Nicula stated. There are little ones competing for positions correct now and of course the returning starters from final year, they surely usually will get initial run in there and initial likelihood to nab it but they’re possessing to perform really hard. The majority of them truly are operating really hard to preserve positions and go on but yeah, we’re actual. We’re truly excited.”

Each position is going to be handled with a committee method early in the year. Like Nicula stated, the starters from final season will get initial crack, but they will have other girls nipping at their heels all through the selection course of action.

With that stated, the loss of Emma Gates will surely be felt this season, but Mathews is not in a dire scenario in the circle. In truth, the Mustangs have no shortage of fresh arms to throw into the mix when required.

Without having going into complete rotation information, Nicula talked about that he’s a lot more than confident in his crop of pitchers this year.

“The huge essential is going to be pitching, but I’ll inform you what, we really have seven little ones that pitch,” Nicula stated. “We have 4 sophomores and 3 freshmen, and we’re extremely content with them. We’ve had a couple of scrimmage games so far indoors and we did extremely properly. We’re playing Boardman this weekend which will be fascinating to see how they fare against a truly fantastic group that year in and year out, is actual strong. We’re excited. I do not consider our pitching is going to fall off.”

More than the years, pitching has been a strength for Mathews, as the Mustangs have had various all-state pitchers.

“We’ve been blessed to have all-state pitching year soon after year soon after year,” Nicula stated. “Going all the way back to Cheyenne Eggens from the early 2010s. Cheyenne was all-state. Then we had Nicole Watts, who was an all-state pitcher and then Addy (Jarvis) and then, we had a year or two exactly where we had Becca (Landis) and Emma (Gates) who have been young, but then they ended up each becoming all-state pitchers.”

That level of results in the circle and level of group results has created playing for Mathews a complicated point to do. There’s a higher bar you have to meet. With that stated, Nicula thinks he has the correct roster that can get back to exactly where they want to be. Creating the regionals has been good, but Nicula and the Mustangs are aiming a small bit larger than that.

“When they play softball at Mathews, you have a legacy to uphold, and the bar has been set extremely higher,” Nicula stated. “…We’re competing for a league championship and then district and beyond. Regardless of who is right here, we reload, and that is our aim to get back to the state level. We’ve fallen quick in the regional level not too long ago, and we want to get more than that hump, and there’s no explanation why we really feel that we cannot do that this year.

“The little ones perform really hard and remain the course and exhibit what we’re attempting to get them to do and you attitude and work you know me that is my largest point. You can move mountains when you have a good attitude and you give good work. At times that is way a lot more vital than the talent level you have.”

The road to get to Akron in June is not an simple one particular, so the Mustangs ready themselves with a rigorous frequent season schedule. In addition to a challenging league slate with perennial best teams Pymatuning Valley and Bristol and up-and-comers Chalker, Mathews will be taking on some of the state’s most effective teams.

As a element of the Wendy’s Classic in April, the Mustangs are scheduled to face Danville, Marlington and Strasburg.

Mathews will open its season at residence against Pymatuning Valley on March 27 at five p.m.

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