(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
CHAFFEE -- Making the jump from traveling high school team to the Senior Babe Ruth League this summer, Chaffee will feature plenty of hometown talent along with some familiar faces from around the area.
"It should be a pretty good season," Chaffee coach Aaron Horrell said. "We have the majority of our high school team back, which went 19-7, and we were able to pick up a couple of kids from out of town.
"I feel like we're going to have a pretty deep roster."
Some of those returning from the Red Devils high school season include first team Scott-Mississippi All-Conference players Cody Payne, Alex Davie and Andrew Dooley along with honorable mention player Jared Walker.
Joining the homegrown talent will be East Prairie's Connor Scott and Aaron Miller, both also making the Scott-Mississippi All-Conference first team and honorable mention selection Nolan Urhahn from Oran.
Horrell expects the addition of Scott will help deepen what was already a formidable pitching staff during the high school season.
"Our high school team had a really deep pitching staff this year," Horrell said. "We have all of them back and we added Connor Scott who I feel like is going to be right there at the top of our rotation."
Team members will be: Cody Payne, Jared Walker, Alex Davie, Alex Crowe, Trevor Cannon, Andrew Dooley, Daniel Dooley, Cody Johnson, Mitchell Dirnberger (Chaffee); Aaron Miller, Connor Scott (East Prairie); Josh Overbey (Bell City); Greg Davis (Leopold); Nolan Urhahn (Oran) and Blake Keasler (Bernie).
Horrell said the jump to Senior Babe Ruth will give the kids something to play for at the end of this season unlike when you're a high school summer program.
"With the Senior Babe Ruth there's a league to compete in and there's some thing to play for at the end," he said. "Whereas with the high school team last year we played a mixture of everything, but at the end of the year the season just ended.
"With this (league) we'll get to play for a state championship at the end of the season."
Chaffee will host the Missouri State Senior Babe Ruth baseball tournament in July.
Chaffee will open up their season, weather permitting, today at 5:30 against the Dexter Bearcats' summer team.