In his first year as the head baseball coach of the Gilman Greyhounds, Larry Sheets guided his team to an overall record of 27-5 and the MIAA A Conference championship.
The Hounds copped the crown from five-time defending champion Calvert Hall last spring at Cal Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen.
Sheets returns a pitching staff that was a collective 22-1 last season. Brandon Casas and Matt Collins were 7-0, Mike Dunbar was 5-0, and Ryan Ripken was 3-1.
Gilman lost some solid veterans to graduation in Bryan Willis, Cam Loft, Scot Johnson and Max Cooke, but Sheets has a game plan in place that he hopes will fill those holes quickly.
“Willis did everything for us,” said Sheets. “That’s a big hole to fill.”
Sheets has four seniors, 11 juniors, one sophomore and one freshman on this year’s squad.
Ripken will play first base and pitch, Dunbar will play second and see mound duty, Tom O’Neil returns at short, and Matt Collins will play third when he’s not on the hill.
John Durham and Matt Tilley will man left and center respectively, but the starting spot in right is still up for grabs.
Griffin Pedroni, Andrew Burton, Matt Kantz, and Ryan Stevens are vying for the job.
Luca Simmons will start behind the plate.
Seve llanio will be back in action after missing his sophomore season with a sore arm. Llanio excelled on the mound as a freshman, and his return will bolster a seasoned pitching staff. “A healthy Seve will help. He could turn out to be one of our best pitchers,” said Sheets, who was the MIAA A Conference Coach of the Year last season.
Quinn Cotter and Gavin Sheets are also expected to make contributions for the Greyhounds this season.
Sheets will again be assisted by Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr.
“We’re not going to surprise anybody,” mused Sheets. “We’ll work hard, play hard, and we’ll see where the chips fall. It’s high school baseball.”
The Greyhounds will play their home opener in a non-conference game on March 11 against Boys Latin.