Smoky Valley baseball coach Troy Miller doesn’t really mince words about the 2015 Vikings.

Smoky Valley baseball coach Troy Miller doesn’t really mince words about the 2015 Vikings.
“We are going to be very young again this year,” Miller said. “We need to focus on getting better every day. We need to develop some pitching and score more runs.”
The Vikings went 1-18 in 2014 and hope to improve greatly upon that mark. Helping the way will be a trio of senior starters returning to SVHS.
Outfielder Kirk Barnes hit .381 a year ago, while designated hitter was a .362 hitter. Second baseman Andrew McClure brings a .227 average back for Miller and the Vikings.
Also back from a year ago is sophomore Jordan Foth. Newcomers that Miller says to keep an eye out for are sophomores Garrett Forsberg and Noah Lackey, as well as freshmen Zach Abl and Brett Hetischmidt.
The Vikings open the 2015 season at home Tuesday against Ell-Saline.

Viking softball searching for success

By Gallagher Martin
Special to the Sentinel
LINDSBORG — Smoky Valley softball is looking for a little bit more success this year after a mediocre 11-11 finish to the 2014 season.
The Vikings will have some firepower returning in senior Keni Campbell. As a junior, Campbell batted an impressive .426 en route to a Central Kansas League second team spot.
Campbell also showed some speed on the bases with 10 stolen bags. Smoky Valley will also have seniors Hannah Lemen and Hannah Morrical to provide leadership and experience.
“Keni Campbell should be one of the best players in the CKL,” head coach Chris McClure said. “We will also count of Lemen and Morrical to play like seniors.”
In order for the Vikings to compete in the stacked CKL, they’re going to need consistent play from the rest of the starting nine. Junior Kelsie Anderson turned in some solid play last year, and sophomore Katie Bellah is looking to improve on a strong freshman year.
A lot of question marks still remain, but if the Vikings can get strong offensive and defensive production from the returning starters, hopefully the newcomers will get a feel for what it’s like.
“We graduated four solid seniors and we’re going to need to rely on some girls with limited varsity experience to adapt rapidly.” McClure said.
Don’t expect a cake walk for any team in the CKL this year. Hillsborough, Haven, Pratt, and Lyons all made it to state last year and the addition of Hoisington and Larned should increase the difficulty of the league.
The Vikings start their season at Hillsborough on April 2, in a game that has league implications.

Smoky Valley tennis faces questions
By Gallagher Martin
Special to the Sentinel
LINDSBORG — There will be plenty of questions surrounding Smoky Valley tennis this year.
The Vikings return two players from last years varsity roster including junior Trapper Bellah, who qualified for state with his doubles partner but did not place, and senior Jon Dahlsten who played number one singles but did not qualify for state.
Who will fill out the rest of the team is a question head coach John Bellah admits is a big question mark.
“We have a lot of unknowns with this team,” Bellah said. “We will find things out during the season.”
Look for senior Nils Peterson to possibly grab a top six spot and the junior duo of Trey Schneider and Jarod Meier to make some noise, but Coach Bellah says it’s his freshman class that people shouldn’t sleep on.
“Our freshman class will raise the level of competition in practice,” Bellah said. “I don’t know who will be playing what, but I’m excited about our team.”
With Trapper Bellah and Dahlsten returning, only two spots are for certain. Peterson, Schneider and Meier look to be the early favorites, but one spot still remains up for grabs. In order to compete at tournaments, the Vikings are going to need solid contribution from all six players. Whoever claims that sixth spot will need to hold his own in tough competition.
“We have a good freshman group and we might not win very many tournaments, but I think we can compete.” Bellah said.  
The Vikings will open up their 2015 season at Hesston on March 31.

Schedule
Baseball
April 2 — Hillsboro;
March 31 — Ell-Saline; April 7 — at Nickerson; April 10 — Kingman; April 21 — at Halstead; April 24 — Hoisington; April 28 — Pratt; April 30 — at Larned; May 8 — at Haven; May 12 — Lyons;
Softball
April 2 — Hillsboro; April 7 — at Nickerson; April 10 — Kingman; April 14 — Sterling; April 17 — Hesston; April 23 — at Halstead; April 28 — Pratt; April 30 — at Larned; May 8 — at Haven; May 12 — vs. Lyons and Hoisington (Triangular at Lyons).
Tennis
March 31 — Hesston Invitational; April 7 — Smoky Valley Invitational; April 9 — Hillsboro Invitational; April 14 — Salina Invitational; April 23 — Salina Invitational; April 28 — Hesston Invitational; April 30 — Smoky Valley Invitational; May 4 — CKL Meet (at Smoky Valley).
Track and Field
April 2 — Republic County Invitational; April 10 — Marion Invitational; April 17 — Smoky Valley Invitational; April 24 — Abilene Invitational; May 1 — at Hillsboro Invitational; May 7 — Halstead Invitational.