High school aseball season starts this weekend with jamboree

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Minden head coach Dean Francis gives instruction at a practice earlier this week. The Crimson Tide will be in action, along with Lakeside, at this Saturday’s Lakeside Jamboree.

The high school baseball season is within view.

Minden, Lakeside and North Webster will all be in action Saturday, Feb. 18 in Sibley to begin the season at the Lakeside Jamboree.

The baseball begins at 11 a.m. with Minden taking on Calvary, followed by Minden and Evangel at noon. North Webster faces Calvary at 1 p.m., Lakeside will take on Evangel at 2 and North Webster meets Lakeside in the jamboree’s finale at 3.

Each game will be 3 innings with the home team being determined by coin flip, unless Lakeside is playing, where they will always be home.

All three teams are coming off playoff campaigns in 2016.

The Minden Crimson Tide, led by head coach Dean Francis, finished as runner-up in district 1-4A last season to the Benton Tigers. Minden lost 10 seniors to graduation, including their top arms on the mound: Trace Francis, Gavin Smith and Gunner Stephens.

One Minden coach said freshman Carson Fields could become the Tide’s ace this season.

At the plate and in the field, Minden should get help from Glenbrook transfers Trevor McLean and Beau Branch.

Lakeside went a disappointing 12-13 last season but still came two runs shy of upsetting Opelousas Catholic in the first-round of the playoffs. The Warriors are ready to return to prominence under the steady leadership of Bob and Will Gray.

Seniors Jake and Cameron Gray return as leaders on the field and talented players like Gavin Jones and Logan McIver gained valuable experience last season.

At North Webster, Brian Fowler readies for his first season as head coach of the Knights after a brief stint at Minden High School. The Knights made a deep playoff run last season on their way to the quarterfinals of Class 3A.

North Webster has key players to replace in Blake Atchley, Trent Vidrine and Dallas Lay, however All-Parish shortstop and budding star Riley Orr returns. So do Kade Garmany, Hayden Corbell and Michael Modisette.

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