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Tradition-Rich Glen Lake Opens 2016 Season

MAPLE CITY – A program already rich in tradition, the Glen Lake baseball team made school history in 2015, becoming the first to go 12-0 in Northwest Conference play.

Winners of four straight district titles and three consecutive regional championships, the Lakers came within a run of reaching their third straight state semifinal last season, falling to Rudyard in a Division 4 quarterfinal.

Ranked third in the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association preseason poll, Glen Lake opens its 2016 season this week with five returning starters after graduating five seniors and three starters from their 2015 squad, including three-time All-State first baseman Austin Odziana, as well second baseman Tristan Sauerman and outfielder Bryson Jackson.

“Every year, they’re chasing something new,” said 13-year veteran coach Kris Herman. “For them this year, the mentality is basically to see what they can go get for themselves.”

This year’s senior class is well aware of the tradition established by those before them, beginning with the 1984 Class D state runner-up squad.

“It means so much to us. There’s just so many people that have come before us and set the standards for what we’re doing,” senior ace Zach Cooper said. “I can’t explain it. It gives me the tingles thinking about it.”

Senior first baseman and 2015 all-stater Travis Moore says the goals for 2016 are the same as every year.            

“Of course we want to make a great playoff run and we’re kind of used to that after the past few years, but it’s a new year,” Moore said. “Of course we want to go as far as we can and we have goals in conference and then districts and so on.”

The Lakers continue their season Saturday, hosting the Glen Lake Invitational at Traverse City’s Wuerfel Park.