In the world of sports, it’s not uncommon to have a stellar first season under a new head coach.

In the world of sports, it’s not uncommon to have a stellar first season under a new head coach.

However, the Plainview Indians are trying to avoid the other common that comes with a second year, a slump in success.

This summer the Indians, under the direction of second year head coach Ryan Luhmann, have been working hard to make sure their historic run last year wasn’t just a one hit wonder. 

“I think we have to do things that got us to where we were last year,” Luhmann said. 

“We played the game the right way, we played hard and we competed. Obviously there are some things we’ve got to work on, but if we take the same approach into every game like we did last year we should be able to keep the ball rolling.”

The Indians were bounced out of the regional tournament last year and finished the season with a 25-12 record, which was the first 20-win season for a Plainview squad since 2017, and the first regional tournament appearance for the program since 2016. 

The 25 wins were the most wins the school has had since the 2013-2014 season when they finished with 27.

Plainview will be looking for ways to replace the veteran leadership of players like Chase Owen, Braden Landis, Britton Sperry, Bryson Stricker and Clay Christensen, all of whom graduated last year.

Sperry was named as the 2019 Best of the Arbuckles Preps baseball MVP, after he finished with a solid batting average of .358 along with a .489 on base percentage. 

He also scored 33 runs and had 29 RBI’s for the season with one home run and 12 stolen bases. On the mound he went 3-1 for the season with 24 strikeouts in 22.1 innings pitched. 

Owen finished the year with a .353 batting average to go with 42 runs scored and one home run. 

Luckily for the Indians, the team is returning eight starters from last years squad.  

The new senior class, led by players like Jake Guerin, Layne Davis and Payton Webber, will help lead the 12 incoming freshman to this years team.

Davis will be a key component to the pitching rotation, after he went 9-1 last season with a 2.01 ERA with 55 strikeouts and 19 walks allowed in 52 innings pitched. 

Guerin also had a solid season after he totaled a .360 average with 42 runs scored, 21 stolen bases and one home run. 

Webber finished with a .367 average with 29 runs scored, 31 RBI’s and 11 stolen bases while striking out 34 batters on the mound with three saves for the season. 

“A lot of those guys have started since they were freshman or played a lot as sophomores,” Luhmann said. 

“They have a ton of experience, and they kind of know how were going to run things and do things now. They’ve taken the ball like those seniors did last year and just ran with it.”

Rain has been a theme of the summer for the Indians, canceling most of their summer league games, but Luhmann believes his team will be ready once the new season begins.

“It was kind of hard to tell this summer, but the big thing is the amount of arms we got,” Luhmann said. 

“I would say our brightest spot right now is our ability to throw strikes and throw them well.”

With the summer season wrapped up, Luhmann’s focus is on preparing for the 2020 season.

Luhmann said one of his main goals is helping develop the younger kids at the junior varsity level, so when this group of seniors graduate they can pick up where they left off in terms of success.

Some of the kids on his team are participating in recreational league baseball, which Luhmann thinks is good for their growth as players. 

With the team not meeting again until later in the year, Luhmann hopes his team will remain focused on baseball.

“We talked in our exit meetings about how they got to have some time off this summer,” Luhmann said. 

“But if they’re not in another sport, or if they are not in football or basketball, those guys have to keep throwing.  Even the guys playing in other sports have to take time once a week to go play catch or go get in the cage, so when we get there in December, were ready to roll right where we left off this summer.”