If it were possible, the strongest part of the Chickasha baseball team has become stronger.
That's the synopsis from head coach Brad Gore after a summer of wood bat tournaments and a few double headers. With only Cade Morris graduating from the pitching staff -- and he spent the vast majority of last season at center field -- the Fightin' Chicks are sure to return plenty of tested talent to the lineup in the spring.
Gore said that was affirmed over the summer. Chickasha were knocked out of the area wood bat playoffs over the weekend.
"We're throwing really well," Gore said. "A guy who really improved over the summer was Brandon Shumway, He threw really well. Mario Medina threw the ball well. All the guys worked hard this summer. It was good for development."
The lefty Shumway is part of the large junior and sophomore class that will make up the bulk of Chickasha's team next spring. His summer could see him shift to more time on the mound from the usual position of left field.
Gore also singled out Brock Henderson, Brayden Belden, and Jake Womack as young pitchers that will continue to improve when February comes around.
But there's still plenty to figure out. Two starting outfield positions, the middle infield, and a catcher will need to be found when preseason begins.
"There are a lot of spots up for grabs," Gore said. "I couldn't tell you who is going to be where."
Chickasha also doesn't appear to be any closer to fixing the only major issue they had last season: power hitting. Levi Kell, who will be a senior, was out all of last spring through injury. His recovery continued into the summer, so whether or not he could be the answer is yet to be determined.