Track and Field Preview

Chargers to be formidable with depth and talent


North Montgomery baseball knows that this season is the one that can be special. After having 16 wins the past two seasons and two straight third place finishes in the Sagamore Conference, the Chargers are ready to make the jump to the next level.

North Montgomery returns all of it’s pitching from a year ago led by senior lefty Jarrod Kirsch and junior Cade Cole. Junior Roman Utterback and seniors Corbin Meadows and Austin Sulc are also all back for the Chargers and are able to give them valuable innings on the mound as well as at the plate.

North does graduate Brookes Walters, Dylan Braun behind the plate, outfielder Gage Galloway, Brecken Hardy, and Thomas Laffoon.  The big losses come behind the plate with Braun who not only was a consistent defensive catcher, but also batted .341 last year and led the Chargers with 25 RBI’s. Walters batted .348, and Galloway .273. Charger skipper Matt Voorhees notes how those losses will be tough to replace but believes this version of the Chargers are equipped to have a breakthrough year.

“We know that we’re going to be young behind the plate,” Voorhees said. “The loss of Dylan is going to hurt because he had such a great senior season for us last year. I have loved the work that I’ve been seeing from Jack Warren and Isaiah Hopkins who will both be battling for that spot. Overall we have eight seniors this season and a lot of whom who have seen valuable playing time. It wouldn’t surprise me if we had seven to eight of those guys in the field at one time. You add to that bringing back all of our pitchers from last year and seeing what some of these guys did in the off-season has been tremendous and we’re really excited where we’re at.”

Kirsch not only will once again be the ace of the pitching staff, but also return as th Chargers leading hitter. Kirsch batted .378 a season ago and had a staggering .545 on-base% as he drew 29 walks. On the mound the southpaw went 6-2 with a 1.17 ERA  and struck out 88 in 54 innings. Cole was the No. 2 behind Kirsch and went 4-2 with a 3.04 ERA in his first varsity season including throwing a no-hitter against Danville. Voorhees noted how having such a deep and talented pitching staff goes a long way for his squad.

“We’re going to need all of those guys with how difficult our schedule is,” he said. “Central Catholic (tied for 1st in Class A), Cascade (third in 2A), Crawfordsville (6th in 3A), and Tri-West (3rd in 3A) are all ranked and we know that it’s not going to be a cakewalk. Every year the SAC is a dogfight. We have a ton of depth and I as a coach have to trust that depth. I don’t want Jarrod or Cade to be throwing 100+ pitches every single time out when we have so many guys that we can turn to. I think we’re going to see more of Austin and Roman and Isaiah Hopkins is making a name for himself too. It pays to be deep in pitching and we’re very fortunate to be in that spot this year.”

North Montgomery opens up their 2024 season with a very busy four-game week. Tuesday the Chargers travel to North Putnam, Thursday they have their home opener against Fountain Central. Friday night they host Seeger before welcoming Cascade on Saturday.