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The Mount Ayr Raiders have had a changing of the guard this season, with head coach Bill Huntington joining head coach Anthony Maldanado in the dugout this season, after the resignation of previous head coach Chris Elwood.
The Raiders tied for first in the Pride of Iowa Conference with Martensdale-St. Marys, while boasting a record of 21-5.
That team graduated pitchers Dawson Swank and Briar Knapp along with skill players in Trae Ehlen and Erik Trujillo.
The Raiders return plenty of letterwinners, along with All-Conference players as well, with Jaixen Frost, Jaydon Knight, and Jace Grose in both categories, while Preston Fleharty, Ryce Reynolds, Darin Drake, Drew Ehlen, Riley Stark, Austin Cole, Cody Larson, Raines Sackett and Adler Shay return to the lineup.
Tyler Martin is a new prospect for the Raiders who has spent the last few summers playing for the Kansas City Royals Scout team across the country.
“To be honest, all of the underclassmen and returning lettermen have shown tremendous potential,” said coach Huntington. “At this time it is hard to single out any as all have done a great job so far. There will be some battles for those nine starting spots.”
The Raiders graduated a lot of key players after last season and look to fill those spots.
“We had some very talented seniors graduate last year,” said coach Huntington. “So far this spring, practices have been limited due to the amount of activities that we have going on. Coach Maldanado and I have been happy with the work that we have put in but we really need to get focused over the next seven days as we prepare for our first game.”
Coach Anthony Maldonado is excited to get the season and work with coach Bill Huntington.
“I am excited to get to work with Coach Huntington and these boys this summer,” said Maldonado. “Coach Huntington and I have told these young men since practices have began that we want them to go out and have fun. I think when this team takes the field this season you’re going to see a team that’s going to play with a lot of joy, enthusiasm and a constant desire to win. Play ball!”
The Raiders begin play at Clarke on Tuesday, May 24 and will have a full schedule in the upcoming months.