The Muenster Hornets have had a few battle cries in their history, with last year’s Twitter hashtag being #DD, standing for Dell Diamond, the location of the state tournament in Round Rock.
The Hornets not only made it to Dell Diamond, they won the Class 2A state title.
This season, the hashtag is #B2B16.
That stands for back-to-back and the number 16, which is the number of teams to ever repeat as champions.
While last season’s goal was just to make it to the state tournament, head coach Josh Wheeler isn’t selling his team short this season.
“Our goal is to go back to back,” Wheeler said. “We won it last year and you’ve got to start by analyzing the region and try to beat everyone in the region, but our ultimate goal is to win it again. You start with the region and go from there.”
Muenster is 2-0 in district play this season with wins over Alvord and Era to go along with a 9-4 overall record.
The early part of the season has been against tough competition, by design.
“We’ve played well and played some really good teams,” Wheeler said. “Godley is ranked No. 2 in 4A and we got beat by Peaster, who is ranked in the top 5 in 3A. I just think we need to do that. We brought back seven players and we have a lot of talent. We need to be challenged by those types of teams before we get into the playoffs.”
While Wheeler feels as if most of the team’s game is in order, he said their defense has room to grow.
“I think we’ve played OK,” Wheeler said. “I’m a little disappointed with our defensive effort this year. We’ve fielded the ball like we’ve needed to, but hopefully it will come around. We’ve made way too many errors so far this year and we’re still trying to piece together on who’s going to play where on the infield.”
The Hornets’ pitching has been a strong spot, as was the case in last season, led by Parker McGrew.
“We’ve got a good idea of who they are,” Wheeler said. “Stetson McGrew’s arm was hurt last year, but he was the ace the year before that. Parker and Stetson are our top two pitchers. We’ve got Seth Flusche or Brandon Sicking can start a Game 3. We’ve got a bunch of guys that can come in for relief. We’re looking for about six guys that we can throw in a three-game series.”
Wheeler also has no doubts about their offensive game as he would willingly stack them up with the best offenses in Class 2A.
“Offensively, we know we’re going to hit,” Wheeler said. “Everybody struggles against good pitching and we’ve struggled already, but I think we’re going to hit the ball just as good as anybody in 2A. I don’t know if anybody hits it better than we do.”
One of the key factors Wheeler thinks will help the Hornets repeat is keeping his team motivated, especially after the recent success Muenster High School has had.
“We’ve won three state titles in a row and made the state semifinal in basketball this year,” Wheeler said. “We’ve had a lot of success. Sometimes the seniors get senioritis and stuff like that, so we’ve got to keep them on a straight line and keep the motivation up. That’s one of the hardest things to do in coaching and teaching students period.”
Muenster will matchup with Lindsay at home today at 6:30 p.m.
The Knights are coming off an 8-7 win over Bells and Wheeler said he knows the rematch of the regional finals is always a fun experience.
“I’ve been here two years now and everybody loves this game,” Wheeler said. “There will be a lot of people in the stands. There will be two radio stations here. It’s a big deal. Lindsay graduated seven seniors and we should be the better team. I haven’t seen Lindsay play this year and I know they have a good pitcher, but we’ve still got to play the game.”
Patrick Hayslip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip