The Yankton Post 12 baseball team entered tonight with eight more wins than they had all of last year. Thanks to a few key role models and a mixture of young and veteran talent, Yankton is feeling very confident about their chances in the upcoming Region Tournament.
The town of Yankton has had its share of stars lately with Colton Iverson and Layne Somsen pursuing professional careers in their respective sports. Those two have inspired players like Layne Sawatzke who grew up watching them to hit .392 this season in hopes of someday following in their footsteps.
"I think role models and having guys like that to look up to are key, plus we have guys that want to do that, and keep that tradition alive," Sawatzke, Yankton's First Basemen, said.
"We see it in our thirteen and fourteen year old groups that they want to be the next Layne Somsen or Colton Iverson. They put in the work and it spark plugs them for their high school career," Yankton Manager Trey Krier said.
Post 12 has a number of contributing under classmen, such as Sheldon Gant. The soon to be junior is batting .344 with 11 extra base hits and is helping to propel his team that won 17 games a year ago to a 25-12 championship contender now. So what's the recipe?
"I think it has been confidence, that's the key. We had a good start to our season and now we are hoping to carry it out. As long as we are never satisfied with where we are at, we will get things done." Gant, Yankton's Second Basemen, said.
"Our younger guys are energizing our older guys who have put in a lot of work and are excited about the season that we have, as well as, the opportunity that we have with the Region Tournament coming up," Krier said.
That opportunity is hosting the Region 2A Tournament. Although they won't have to travel, they know it won't be easy getting out of one of the toughest regions in the state.
"We're happy to be at home, sleeping in our own beds, but I don't know if it is necessarily an advantage for us. We still have to play four quality teams," Krier said.
"Nobody knows Riverside Field like us. We're going to have a lot of fans from Yankton, obviously. We have a nice home crowd that we love," Gant said.
Post 12 took the field with Post 131 in Valley Springs this evening. We will have those highlights when we come back after the break.