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Northern Tier West Sports Report
WELLSBORO — The Hornets are preparing for the upcoming season under the tutelage of Head Coach Steve Adams, as the longtime coach welcomed back a strong core of veterans who will be looked at to help bring along a large group of underclassmen. 

“We have some outstanding older guys .. and some inexperienced younger players,” Adams says. “The young guys are athletic and have the potential to develop into fine ball players.”

Seniors Conner Adams (.394 BA, 26 H, 23 R, 17 RBI, 16 steals), Cameron Brought (.484 BA, .595 OBP, 30 H, 28 RBI) and Blake Hamblin (.333 BA, .423 OBP, 20 H, 19 R) are all three-year starters and along with junior Caden Smith (.457 BA, .525 OBP, 32 H, 30 R), will look to lead the Hornets this season.

Adams, Brought and Smith were all First Team All-Tioga County for the 13-5-1 Hornets last season, while Hamblin was Second Team. 

“Conner will be playing at Mansfield University next season and Cameron will be going to Alfred to play football,” Coach Adams says, “so having college bound athletes will provide a good model for the younger guys to follow.”

Coach Adams points to a number of newcomers as players who will be looked to for an immediate contribution.

“We’ll be playing a lot of freshman and sophomores this season,” Adams says. “We lost our two and four batters so we need someone to step up there, and we need another catcher because Caden (Smith) will pitch. Gabe Sprouse (10), Lucas Cuneo (10), Alec Magli (10) and Marek Mascho (9) will be called on early, with all the others competing for game time.”

Though early, Adams has been very pleased with practices so far.

“The players have been so coachable,” Adams says. “We have to become solid defensively and have an understanding of the game at the varsity level .. play the game correctly. Hopefully that will translate into success for the players on the field. We're throwing a lot at them and they're doing great. Working hard."

Wellsboro has a strong non-league schedule, facing Jersey Shore, Coudersport, Shikellamy .. who the Hornets tied 14-14 in nine innings last season, Hughesville .. who beat Hornets 7-4 in the District semis last season .. and South Williamsport .. who won the District IV A title last season.

The Hornets have a pair of scrimmages set up .. at South Williamsport and at St. John Neumann .. before opening their season next Friday at Canton. 

PHOTOS: Lance Larcom

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