Baseball Season Preview Series: Jefferson R7 Blue Jays

The Jefferson R7 Blue Jays lose eight Seniors to graduation, but still have plenty of pieces in place and look to make another strong run in 2022.

The Jefferson R7 Blue Jays had a solid regular season in 2021 at 18-9, but the team really found their stride in the postseason. The surging Jays made it all the way to the State Semifinals and ended up earning a third place finish overall. Once all the pieces were in place this became a dangerous bunch, unfortunately the majority of those pieces graduated and Jefferson will have to reinvent the roster.

Despite the turnover, expectations are still optimistic for this talented group, and Head Coach Robert Kuehnle thinks there is success in the formula that this program has instituted. Multiple District Championships tend to come from deep, battle tested organizations and R7 is just that. Ameritime caught up with Coach Kuehnle and picked his brain about what this season will look like.

His answers and information are listed below.

Graduated Seniors: Colby Ott, Daylen Whitener, Dylan Schnitzler, Nolan Roth, Ethan Boyer, Luke Labruyere, Will Schnitzler, Dawson Jakoubek

Impact returning players: Colton Richardson, Jack Hueter, Sam Hawley, Sam Stokes, CJ Johnson, Cole Robinson, Garret Lalumondier, Max Schnitzler, Mike Frisk 

Who do you see as being your top and key athletes this season? 

Richardson – Was a huge impact guy in the playoffs last year really and found his stride at the end of the season. He’s going to be one of our team leaders this year.

Hueter – Also a huge clutch guy in the playoffs last year. We’re going to rely heavily on his glove and his offensive output.

What are your expectations for the team this season? 

I think this will be a year that tests us. We lost a lot of seniors, but it’s time for the young guys to stand up and keep our program going the way it has over the past couple of years. As always our goal is to be in the hunt at the end of the season for a District Title.

Are there any key games this season?  

We take every game as if it was the last game of the season. We do not look to any games on the schedule as more important than the other because every game to us is important.

What are the strengths of this team, and what aspects do you think will be a work in progress? 

To be honest we are going to be tested. We have a lot of guys who never played varsity before so we will have to see what we need to focus on down the stretch after a couple of games played.

Mention any other athletes you would like to say something about. Maybe some newcomers, or athletes coming off injury. 

We have a lot of guys who are going to be tested and could be a guy for us down the stretch. It’s an exciting year with exciting opportunities for many of the players.

Also, Stokes will be a presence in our lineup. He returned from a great season and we’re expecting a lot of offense out of him.

It sounds as if the Blue Jays will have to make some adjustments and find some talent deep in the roster if they want to keep up their level of success. But programs with track records such as theirs tend to do just that. It should be another exciting season for Jefferson baseball and we’re all champing at the bit to see how it shakes out.

Good luck Blue Jays! Baseball Season Preview Series: Jefferson R7 Blue Jays

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