SIKESTON -- The Scott County Central Braves fielded one of their best teams in recent memory last year and hope to build off that success this spring.
First team, all-state catcher Josh Boese headlines a group of eight returning starters from last year's 9-8 team. Boese hit .588 for the Braves last year and was also 5-1 on the mound.
Also returning are all-conference selections: Trey Johnson, Ben Freed and Bryan Freed. Johnson, a senior, will roam center field while senior Ben Freed will anchor the pitching staff as well as see time at third base and first base.
Senior Bryan Freed will be a utility man for Scott Central, expected to see action at third base, shortstop, second base, the outfield as well as on the mound.
Junior Nathan Holland will handle the shortstop duties and see action on the hill while sophomore Tyler Masters will return to play second base.
New to the team this year are sophomores Kamryn and Dustin Johnson who transferred from Chaffee and are expected to play a big role in the Braves' lineup.
"Both are very smart players and come from a great program over at Chaffee," Scott Central coach Matt Limbaugh said. "We are very excited to have them."
Senior Blake Pobst and junior Steven Minner are looking to build on their development in right and left field, while Minner will also see time behind the plate. Freshman Blain and Alex Johnson are quick athletes who are also expected to help the Braves.
"As a program, we are looking to build on the positives from last season." Limbaugh said. "We have a good core of seniors that have been through a lot during their baseball career at SCC and there is nothing I would like more than to send them out the right way. Our goal is to simply get better every day and be playing our best ball come district time."
Scott Central will once again play in a difficult district that features teams like Oran, Bernie, Bell City and Leopold.
"There is never an easy win when it comes to this district," Limbaugh said. "We just have to come out each game and give 110 percent and hope at the end of the game the scoreboard is in your favor."
Scott Central will open the season March 30 when they host the Richland Rebels.