Stepping In and Up


ETV News Stock Photo by Dusty Butler

It has been a slower start to the spring than new head coach Dalen Johnson would have hoped, but the Lady Spartans are anxiously awaiting to return to the diamond. “We’ve been really lucky to have this new Armory,” started Johnson. “We’ve been able to do some work inside, which is nice.”

Emery has some shoes to fill after last season, but there are several starters coming back as well. “We did lose some great ball players last year for sure, but we also have four returning starters from last year that will be back.” Johnson continued, “They all have a lot of game experience. They’re battle hardened and ready to go and ready to lead the rest of the team.”

Those four include Aspen Taylor, Jalynn Fox, Madi Bunnell and Brooklynn Ekker. The former will get the nod as Emery’s Ace. “Taylor has gotten better and better every year. She’s very consistent. She hits her spots, keeps the balls down and has good movement on her balls,” Johnson said. “I foresee a lot of balls in play, but we got a solid defense that’s going to set those ball right up and get the outs. Our biggest strong point is our defense.”

Along with the four returning starters, there are several other returners that will have bigger roles this season. Seniors Emjae Adair, Alivia Christman and Madi Thomas are all ready to take advantage of that opportunity. “They’re going to be great for us, they’re great ball players. They’re going to step in and their going to do great,” stated Johnson. “They learned from those seniors last year and gleaned a lot of knowledge and skills from them.”

There are several underclassmen that will be role players as well, including Shannon Johnson, Katelyn Nielson, Morgan Luke and Alexis Ungerman. “We’ve got a great bunch of girls this year. I have really high hopes for them.” Johnson added, “Honestly, I think if I can just get out of their way and let them go out there and fire on all cylinders, they’re going to be hard to compete with.”

He concluded, “It should be a good season.”

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