Iowa head coach Sean Richard hopes to guide the Yellow Jackets, state runners-up in Class 3A, to a District 4-3A district title. (American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 9:42 AM
After just missing out on a couple of pieces of hardware last season, Iowa will begin this season’s quest for a championship tonight when it hosts South Beauregard in the 4-3A opener for both teams.
The Yellow Jackets were state runner-up in Class 3A last season and finished behind Notre Dame in the District 4-3A race. Head coach Sean Richard said the district title is one of the team’s goals this season.
“Our seniors won a district championship as freshmen, but have not won one as starters,” Richard said. “It is always good to win a district championship.”
Last year’s race was a three-team chase with Iowa, Notre Dame and South Beauregard. Richard said a similar struggle will take place this season.
“I expect it to be the same, but you can throw in more teams,” he said. “Jennings is going to be tough. You only play each other twice, so it is going to be whoever is playing best at the time. There are a lot of quality pitchers in our district.”
The Yellow Jackets have three of them in Gabe Roberts, Austin Theriot and Justin Demary, three of six returning starters for Iowa.
Richard said South Beauregard’s fast start is no surprise.
“They had a younger squad last year, they played hard and pitched well,” he said. “They always showed up to play. Now they are more experienced.”
Richard put together a difficult non-district schedule to get his time ready for the title chase.
“I asked a lot of our guys, we had a tough schedule with seven games against 5A teams,” he said. “I wanted to prepare us for district.”
South Beauregard had a 12-game winning streak stopped Saturday in a 2-0 loss to DeRidder. The Golden Knights allow 3.1 runs per game and have shut out four opponents.