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Nadiger and Bulldogs Expect Loaded Roster in 2021
Grangeville's head baseball coach hopes this year's juniors will evolve into next year's leaders
Published: 5/26/2020 1:26:49 PM
Ashley Mayes
Staff Writer

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Lee Nadiger expected the May air to be filled with the sound of dinging bats, cleats hitting the dirt and runners sliding into home. 

And like many other coaches, another chance at a state title seemed as attainable as ever.

But when 2020’s baseball season ended abruptly, Nadiger and assistant coaches Josh Ebert and Dave Adkison did not have much of a chance to connect with their senior athletes. 

“In your high school baseball career, you only get 85-90 games, which seems like a lot,” Nadiger said. “But it’s really not. Time goes by so fast, so you might as well give it your all in whatever you do.” 

According to Nadiger, 2020 was brimming with opportunity. After a large departure of crucial senior athletes, Grangeville’s leading man was left with a plethora of young juniors eager to earn their salt. Utilizing the leadership and athleticism of juniors Thomas Reynolds and Blake Schoo, Nadiger’s team looked capable of a deep playoff run. 

And after Chase Adkison’s, who now plays for Boise State, Nadiger was relying this year on key senior Jack Kennedy to help the team rebound from last year’s semi-final loss to Melba in the state tournament.. 

“This hurt,” he said. “The team felt that loss and wanted to get this season going and make their mark.” 

Nadiger is hopeful that his returning players especially will be able to get some time on the field this summer playing in either Babe Ruth or American Legion.  

“There is no good handbook for what is best for all players, but baseball is a one of those games if you want to get better, you have to be playing it,” he said.  

In terms of keeping his players ready for 2021, Nadiger said playing multiple sports throughout the year can help diversify an athlete’s development, a philosophy that stems from his own athletic career at Blue Mountain Community College. 

 “While I enjoyed playing football and basketball, baseball was my first love,” he said. 

While Nadiger has several multi-sport players, he also recognizes the value of specializing in a single sport, too. Focusing on a single sport can increase in “perfecting” a skill, which in turn builds confidence.  

Looking to the future, Nadiger is hoping that a combination of preparation, skill and confidence will help move the team forward. And while the seniors missed out on several “lasts” this spring, Nadiger is encouraging them to translate this experience into something positive. 

“The community is understanding, but it doesn’t make the loss of an entire season any easier,” he said. “This is an influential time in each of these player’s lives.”

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