Baseball preview

WSS interns take a look at the upcoming 2019 baseball season this summer as the team looks for another trip to state

Gary Chen, WSS Intern

The stands are packed. The crowd is cheering as you step up to bat. The pitcher throws, you swing, and It’s out of the park! It is baseball night with the Trojans. This team of 30 had a 30-11 winning record last season. Today, we interview two seniors, Chase Calderwood and Nick Fleckenstein to see what baseball is like.

WSS: What has been your involvement in the past three to four years?

Chase: Most of my time is spent on baseball because I don’t play any other sports.

Nick: I would say a lot, because I play in the Fall, Spring, and Summer for high school ball. I would probably say six months of the year.

WSS: What has been your record for the past few seasons?

Nick: It’s just been a winning record.

Chase: I don’t remember.

WSS: How are you going to prepare for the next season?

Nick: Just keep lifting, practicing, and just get prepared.

WSS: What sort of connection do you and your teammates have?

Nick: We have a strong bond. We’ve been playing together since we were little.

Chase: We have all been friends since we were eight. We all have good connections.

WSS: Do any specific schools push you to play better?

Nick: Definitely City. That gets intense.

Chase: Last year, we won both games against City. Sorge trucked the catcher, so he got kicked out. Someone got suspended for the next couple of games. It was crazy.

WSS: How do you avoid a farmer’s tan?

Chase: You don’t. It looks good.

WSS: Being the seniors this year, how do you plan to lead the team to victory?


Chase: Juniors don’t really have a lot of energy. Sometimes they’re lowkey dry. They don’t really show any emotion.

We also take a peek into the mindset of head coach Charlie Stumpff.

WSS: How long have you been coaching West High Baseball?

Stumpff: I believe this will be my 27th year, so a long time.

WSS: What was the greatest year, in your opinion?

Stumpff: That’s tough. There’s always going to be some memorable ones. My first year here, we struggled, but had a great group of guys. It showed that we have potential here. The first team I went to state with was in 2004. We upset a couple of higher ranked teams, we were under 500, but we got blitzed in Des Moines in the state tournament. But still, the first time, the excitement, it was memorable. We’ve had a run of 8-9 state teams, five runner ups, and the first time we were in the championship. Every team makes their own memories.

Tosh: Would you say the competition has stayed the same over the years?

Stumpff: Yeah I think so. It ebbs and flows some years. Dubuque, Xavier, and City when I first got here, was a monster baseball program. They all have the same thing in common. Division 1 athletes.


WSS: I’ve heard that some of the teammates have played together their whole lives. Does that play into their teamsmanship?

Stumpff: Yeah. They’re a close group. In 15 years, you develop friendship, comradery, through the ups and downs.

WSS: What are your goals for the season?

Stumpff: The goals are always West High goals. We’re going to try to win conference, try to win state, and be the best we can be.

WSS: Does competitiveness ever affect ethics?

Stumpff: There’s always ways to shortcut things. People can cheat with bats, people can cheat in the weight room, but we preach to do things the right way. We’re hopeful that we have high character kids that go about doing things the right way.

With many challenging opponents along the way, West will have to fight hard for the playoffs this year. With Prairie, City, and Xavier, it will definitely be a tough battle with everyone contributing, fighting with all their might for a success.