Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ronan baseball gears up for first season

by Brandon Hansen / For The Leader
| March 14, 2024 12:00 AM

Baseball has always been a huge part of the Ronan community, so with the Chiefs forming a high school program, that enthusiasm for the diamond can continue.

The MHSA officially sanctioned baseball as a sport for the first time last year, but only some schools fielded teams. In 2024, Ronan will join the ranks with 27 players on the inaugural squad.

"Getting the honor to be the first high school baseball team in Ronan High School history is both exciting and scary at the same time with the long history of baseball being played here," Ronan Head Coach Chris Atkinson said. "The local museum in town has a photo of a baseball team playing in Ronan that dates back to the early 1900s."

Starting a program from scratch is tough, so only some teams could field them last year. Atkinson and Ronan High School made sure they crossed all the t's and dotted the i's to get the program going this year.

"Our experience level is vastly up and down the scale, which I am hoping plays into building the program and still gives us the ability to compete with all the other schools in the state from the start," Atkinson said. "Our strength is that all of our boys want to be on the field playing baseball, and they are working hard every day to be better than yesterday."

Games will be played on the baseball field located north of the football field in Ronan.

"The boys are very excited to be the first team," Atkinson said. "They are working hard to prepare for the season with the expectation of making their school and community proud."

Ronan seniors have stepped up from day one to lead, helping start traditions. One of those traditions includes a legacy number – 24 – which is worn by a senior. This year, the team has chosen Tristan Fisher.

"I would add that the support we have seen from the community, the school as a whole, and the coaches from all the other sports really makes me proud to be part of our community," Atkinson said. “I hope that 100 years from now, RHS Baseball has young men running onto the field smiling like they are 8-year-olds heading out to play at recess."

    Springtime means baseball and Ronan is getting into the swing of it with its inaugural high school team. (Kyri Uhrich photo)
    Ronan varsity baseball coach Chris Atkinson reviews the basics with a group of players during spring practice last week. Ronan is fielding its first baseball team this spring. (Kristi Niemeyer/Leader)