Coach: Justin Gunka
2013: 12-13, 8-2 MAL
Returning letterwinners: Seniors Nick Scaife (SS/P); Bryan Scherger (C/P); Jordan Stewart (OF/P); Jarid Gelinas (IF/P); Ryan Depinet (OF). Juniors Ryan Steinmetz (1B/P); Tyler Imes (3B/P); Braden Park (2B/SS); Garret Sendelbach (OF/P). Sophomores Logan Tyree (IF/P).
Others: Seniors Adam Huffman (OF); Colton Feathers (OF); Aric Creeger (2B); Weston Hill (1B). Juniors Daniel Arbogast (OF); Bryce Steinhauser (IF/P); Vollie Brock (IF); Tyler Rohe (OF); Chris Mora (OF); Adam Bour (1B/3B); Sven Menzel (OF); Matt Huth. Sophomores Austin Tooker (IF/P); Cody Brickner (OF/P); Alex Brock (OF/P); Jackson Sebetto (C/IF/P); Sheldon Arndt (OF). Freshmen Alex Bour (2B); Braedon Nickelson (OF); Tristan Molatia (OF/P); Andrew Scaife (IF/P); Kyle Reinbolt (C/P); Kevin Fruth (OF); Noah Babcock (3B).
Outlook: Gunka is a baseball guy coming to a baseball school.
Of course, the school isn't new to Gunka, who has been a football assistant for years. But this is his first year as head coach in Bascom.
Previously, Gunka had served as head coach of Ridgedale's baseball team. Prior to that, he was a three-year letterwinner in the sport at Urbana University.
He's taking over a program that has had a good deal of success in the past few seasons. The Chieftains were the MAL's best team in 2012 under Brian Rothrock, and last season finished with an 8-2 conference mark.
Gunka said he's excited about the chance to coach H-L baseball.
"I've been around the kids; there's lot of pride at Hopewell-Loudon," Gunka said. "I looked at it as a great opportunity."
One thing's for sure: Gunka won't have a problem with depth. Thirty-four kids are out for the team this year. The Chieftains have enough kids that Gunka said there will be some freshman games this season.
The Chieftains also return a number of standout players, led by Stewart, who hit .346 last season while stealing 21 bases and scoring 33 runs. Imes is coming off a big season where he hit .437 with 21 RBIs. Also back is Sendelbach, who hit .473 and drove in 20 runs.
Sendelbach was just as effective on the mound, where he went 7-2 with a 2.20 earned run average.
Gunka has nine seniors on the roster, which he said should be a big help.
"Got a lot of seniors, some of the kids who've been through it," he said. "Most of these kids got some playing time, they're experienced. We have a lot of players on our team, and they are ready."