ONW Baseball ready for another shot at the title

Baseball season is back. The Olathe Northwest Baseball team is coming off one of their most successful seasons yet, posting a 16-9 overall record last year and finished 3rd in the Sunflower League regular season standings. The varsity roster for Olathe Northwest will have 9 returning members while 7 depart. The Raven baseball team advanced to the 2017 6A State Baseball tournament for the first time in a number of years, only to be knocked out in the semifinals to the later-to-be named champion Blue Valley High School.

“First of all, we’re excited about this year, coming off the year we were regional champs, and won a game in state, and got 4th place in state, which the best we’ve ever had. We’re really looking forward to building on that. We got a lot of guys coming back who played last year, plus a bunch of guys who suited up…” Coach Rick Setter said. 

The Ravens have played 3 games already this season starting off with a 2-1 opening up with a loss to Bishop Miege 9-6, and followed up with 2 wins on the Missouri side, defeating Stockton 15-3 and Neosho 7-3. 

Seniors Brady Walker and Nick Hegarty will lead the team this year, both have been on the baseball team all four years, and on the varsity squad starting last year. Walker, who committed to play next year at the University of Central Arkansas in November, will be the main man on the mound this year, and is ready to put the work in with the new young talent.

“I’m most excited playing [my] teammates for [the] final year. Last year was a whole lot of fun, and we just want to build on, and win a state championship this year” Walker said.

As the season only lasts for a couple of months of the year, games are played sometimes twice a week, with many practices scheduled every day. However, the team isn’t worried about losing the leadership intensity for the upcoming season, including losing one of the strong leaders in graduated senior Ben Owens.

“I mean, yeah it does affect our team, but that just means someone needs to step up and match what he did…” Hegarty said. With the expectations are becoming more and more each year, it has even set an influence on new drills that have never been done in Northwest history.

“Coach Setter’s new favorite drill is using two pitching machines at the same time, and it’s a little scary because he has put both balls in at the same time a couple times, [but] it’s just he’s trying to get us to see different pitches instead of not just sit there and hit the same one over and over again”.

This will be Coach Setter’s 8th season at Olathe Northwest with a coaching record of 86-68. After losing a tight one in the first game of the year, Setter does not believe the will affect the confidence and results of this season.

“Every game is different you know… we needed to make an adjustment to the umpire, and we didn’t, neither did they. A lot of times people look at one game and make way to many assumptions, and the most heavily scrutinized game of a baseball season is the first game. We just to take what we did, learn from it, and move on. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to change anything as a coach after the first game” Setter said. 

With the Olathe School District now adding a fifth high school into the mix, and another team in the sunflower league. Setter is not afraid of what other teams are doing to prepare to play against the varsity squad.

“We’e not going to worry about Olathe West, Olathe North, [and] Olathe South. For us every game is the same, so we have nothing to prove to anybody. The only people that can beat us is us, and we’re focused on getting better everyday”.

The Ravens will start their Sunflower League games tonight as they take on Leavenworth High School on the road @5:30pm. 


2018 Raven Varsity Baseball Schedule

  Day                   Date                Opponent                  Location                   Time

Tuesday           March 20         Bishop Miege              CBAC (S)                L 6-9

Saturday          March 24         Stockton Mo            Neosho HS                W 15-3

Saturday          March 24         Neosho Mo                Neosho HS               W 7-3

Thursday         March 29         Leavenworth              CBAC (N)                  5:30*

Friday               March 30        Olathe South               ODAC (S)                 4:00*

Tuesday            April 3               Lawrence                     LAW HS                  5:30*

Thursday          April 5                SM East                      CBAC (S)                 5:30*

Saturday           April 7             SM Northwest          JoCo 3&2 #1             12:00*

Tuesday           April 10               SM West                    CBAC (S)                  5:30*

Thursday         April 12            Olathe West                 CBAC (S)                  5:30*

Monday           April 16            Lawrence FS                CBAC (S)                  5:30*

Thursday         April 19         Shawnee Heights           Law FS                      3:45

Friday              April 20               Ray-Pec                     Law HS                     11:15

Friday              April 20       Lee’s Summit West            KU                          3:45*

Tuesday           April 24              SM North               JoCo 3&2 #1                7:00*

Thursday         April 26              SM South               JoCo 3&2 #1                7:00*

Friday              April 27               BV West                   BV West                     6:30              

Tuesday            May 1               Olathe East                CBAC (S)                    5:30*

Thursday          May 3             Olathe North              ODAC (N)                   5:30*

Tuesday            May 8                 Gardner                      GE HS                      5:30*

Monday         May 14-17             Regionals                     TBA                         TBA

Thursday       May 24-25       State Tournament           KU                          TBA



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