For the Coal Valley News

VAN - It was a hard season for the Bulldogs. Their 2-21 record showed the difficulty of facing a number of tough opponents as a squad largely made up of newcomers to the game.

The losses did not come without gains, however.

The schedule and coaching from Stephen Price allowed the team to experience a high level of play from a variety of opponents.

They went into sectionals beating Hannan 10-1 for their second win of the year. However, the struggle of the regular season reared its head once more against Tug Valley.

"We didn't execute basic baseball," said Price. The team fell 9-5 to the Panthers in a game the coach said was indicative of the inexperience many members of the squad had.

The team's seniors are Joshua Fuller, Caleb Price, Ethan Simmermaker, Joshua Workman, Joseph Bias, Jacob Smith, Dakota Phillips and Jarod Puckett.

Smith, Price, and Puckett were just three of the players that made up an important part of the team. With those eight seniors gone, Van must build up a new core for the coming years.

Tough times can make a person stronger, and the Bulldogs have indeed endured tough times.

Next season means newcomers and new opportunities for Van Jr./Sr.

Whether the team can take these experiences into the offseason and use them to their advantage is a matter of seeing.