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Cisar, Magnolia Look to Rebuild

By CODY TOMER

Staff Writer

NEW MARTINSVILLE — The Blue Eagles lost seven seniors from last year’s team to graduation but if any coach can lead a young Magnolia squad to a winning season, it is the veteran Dave Cisar.

Cisar is entering into his 44th season at the helm and has collected a total of 857 victories over his successful career.

Last season ended with a 12-9 record and a tough loss to Wheeling Central in the regional semifinals. In fact, five of the nine losses a season ago came at the hands of Wheeling Central and Bishop Donahue.

An even more important loss for Magnolia is the loss of seven seniors, two of which were All-Valley honorable mentions and four-year starters.

Derrick Blain and Tyler Anderson headline the seniors gone from last year. Blain provided a 4-4 record on the mound, while Anderson garnered a 1-1 mark on the hill.

Also leaving the program after picking up diplomas are Tanner McAdams, Brandon Mason, Garrett Price, Zach Haught and Joe Ledergerber.

“Losing seven seniors makes it really tough but that is where we’re at,” Cisar said. “We lost a big chunk of the team but every team has to go through a rebuilding year and this is it for us but with baseball, anything can happen.”

The Blue Eagles return three seniors in third baseman Nick Priem, centerfielder Dillon Conner and shortstop Drew Herrick.

Priem tallied a .333 batting average to go along with two home-runs and 17 RBI, while Conner hit at a .375 clip and drove in 11 runs.

“I think we have really good leadership with seniors Priem, Conner and the jack of all trades in Herrick,” Cisar said. “We also have a lot of young kids getting their feet wet right away but they have a great deal of enthusiasm.”

Junior utility man and pitcher Dalton Pritchard will be taking on first-base duties, along with sophomore Jeff Guyser, while sophomore Drew Litton and freshman Jake Gamble will split time at second base and on the mound.

Herrick is expected to share the shortstop position with sophomore Patrick Mirandy, who Cisar is excited to see in action.

Priem will play a solid third base for the Eagles, while juniors Billy Nice and Austin Klug will each spend time behind the plate.

Four players vying for playing time in the outfield include sophomores Derrick Kocher and Eli Nice and juniors Brandon Leasure and Brady Cartwright.

The strength of Magnolia looks to come from the mound with eight arms contending for innings.

“Pitching is our strength,” Cisar said. “We have so many arms but the big question is their youth but we like what we’ve seen so far.”

Priem, Pritchard, Litton, Leasure, Mirandy, Drew Herrick, along with junior Leo Herrick and freshman Jake Gamble are in the mix to join the Eagles’ rotation.

“We will always have a good arm on the mound with that rotation,” Cisar said. “I feel that we have several special players who will give us a great deal of enthusiasm and cohesiveness to make us a successful team.

“Our goal is to play hard and let the chips fall where they may. I think we have the talent to surprise some people.”

Cisar’s assistant coach is former Blue Eagles and all-state baseball and football player John Smith.

March 25: South Harrison 12 p.m.

March 27: at Ritchie County 5 p.m.

March 28: Paden City 5 p.m.

March 29: Valley 5 p.m.

March 30: Cameron 6 p.m.

March 31: at Bishop Donahue 5 p.m.

April 1: Monroe Central (2) 12 p.m.

April 4: at St. Marys 5 p.m.

April 5: Wheeling Central 5 p.m.

April 6: at John Marshall 5 p.m.

April 7: at North Marion 5:30 p.m.

April 10: Bishop Donahue 5 p.m.

April 11: at River 4:30 p.m.

April 12: Ritchie County 5 p.m.

April 13: Tyler Consolidated 5 p.m.

April 14: at Fort Frye 5:30 p.m.

April 17: Shadyside 5 p.m.

April 18: at Paden City 5 p.m.

April 19: River 4:30 p.m.

April 20: at Valley 5 p.m.

April 21: Clay-Battelle 5:30 p.m.

April 24: St. Marys 5 p.m.

April 25: at Frontier 5 p.m.

April 27: at Cameron 6 p.m.

April 29: Crestview 2 p.m.

May 1: at Tyler Consolidated 5 p.m.

May 2: John Marshall 5 p.m.

May 3: North Marion 5 p.m.

May 4: at Wheeling Central 5:30 p.m.

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