Varsity experience

Jake Keller is one of three seniors who return with varsity experience this spring.

After stepping away for a few years, Davy Tomlinson is back coaching the Poynette prep baseball team.

“Our measure of success will be how well we are playing at the end of the season,” Tomlinson said. “So far this year, this group has been coachable and working hard at practices. If we keep improving throughout the year, that would be a successful year.”

The Pumas have not played since 2019 after having their 2020 campaign canceled due to the pandemic.

“We felt bad for all of the high school athletes that had their seasons taken away, especially for last year’s seniors,” Tomlinson said. “Losing that season didn’t really change our approach to this year, other than remind the kids to enjoy every minute, as you never know when it may get taken away.”

Poynette finished 3-15 overall in 2019. They placed sixth in the Capitol North Conference with a 1-9 mark.

Due to the lost season, the Pumas do not return a lot of experience. They have just three players who were on the roster in 2019.

“Our biggest weakness is our lack of Varsity experience, especially with pitching,” Tomlinson said. “There will be a lot of new bodies, all competing for positions. Despite the lack of experience from the seniors, one of our strengths is the ability and potential of this group.”

Seniors Kelby Petersen, Jake Keller and Connor Petersen are the only Pumas with varsity experience.

Kelby Petersen has experience pitching and in the infield. He batted .121 with four runs as a sophomore, while going 0-1 with a team-best 2.76 earned run average on the mound.

Keller returns to the outfield for Poynette after batting .205 with five RBIs, two runs and a double in 2019.

Connor Petersen played in the infield and at catcher as a sophomore and hit .214 three RBIs, two runs and two doubles.

Tomlinson is hoping the Pumas can keep improving all season and play their best baseball at the end of the season.

“There are a few main goals that we have, including getting better every day,” Tomlinson said. “No. 2, we want to play hard all the time and No. 3, we want to learn as much as we can about the game and have a good time doing it.”

The Pumas will be very busy this spring, as the delayed start to the season will force them to play a lot of games in a short time frame.

“The biggest change will be due to the number of games in a shorter time span, and the need to have a stable full of pitchers ready to go any day,” Tomlinson said.

Poynette had a tough start to the season with conference losses to Lodi and Lakeside Lutheran in the first week.

The Pumas will be at home on May 6. They will host Capitol North rival Lake Mills at 5 p.m.

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