Teams get ready to start spring season

Published 7:57 pm Monday, March 28, 2005

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Spring is finally here and the weather will show it this week. Some people will be focusing on their gardening work, some will be doing their spring cleaning and local athletes will be gearing up for the start of their spring sports season.
Niles, Brandywine and Buchanan all open up their spring seasons this week.
Niles will open up its soccer season tonight at Vicksburg at 6 p.m. The Vikings were supposed to compete in the Dowagiac Early Bird Tournament on Saturday, but due to the wonderful snowy weather, it was canceled. No further date has been set for the tournament.
Niles coach Denise Peters said her team appears to be very strong this year and has a lot of juniors and some experienced seniors who be an assest to the team.
Buchanan, who was also supposed to compete in the tournament, will open up its season on Wednesday at Parchment. Match time is set to begin at 5 p.m.
Buchanan coach Jo Schau has eight returning players and eight new players for the Bucks. Schau said her team is very young, but energetic and hopes that the four returning seniors can give guidance to the four freshaman.
Niles baseball will open its season on Friday at home against Brandywine.
The Vikings bring back nine returning players from last year and coach Mike Vota said Niles will hopefully be able to compete for the conference and district titles. The Vikings have a good hitting team this year with good team speed which is a positive sign for Niles. Last year the Vikings went 7-1 in conference, 23-10 overall.
Dave Sidenbender and his Bobcats also return a strong line up from last year.
On Saturday, the Buchanan baseball team will host the Buck Classic tournament with game times yet to be determined. The Bucks return 13 players from last year's team with four experienced pitchers and have a solid batting order. Dan Holloway hopes Buchanan can improve its record this year. Last year the Bucks went 3-11 in conference, 11-24 overall.
Buchanan's softball team opens it season Tuesday at South Haven at 4 p.m.
The Buchanan tennis team has already opened its spring season and is off to a very good start picking up two tournament wins. Coach Steve Bender hopes his team can continue to be successful and rank in the top five thsi year. Last year the Bucks were conference and regional champs and finished fourth in state.
Niles coach Rob Babler also has a positive outlook on his tennis team. The Vikings have eight returning players and Babler admitted the have worked harder in the off-season than any group he has had.
Niles kicks off it season Tuesday at home against Sturgis at 4 p.m.
Brandywine's track team will travel to Constantine on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
It will be a very busy week in high school and only promises to get busier as more teams open their season in the next few weeks.