North Platte looks to build upon best finish in KCI Conference play

North Platte found a way to maintain some positive direction last spring on the diamond.

The Panthers won one less game than 2016, but matched a program-best for wins in the KCI Conference for the second straight season.

While the team is still in search of its first winning season this decade, there are still some building blocks there for coach Grant Tysdahl.

North Platte went 8-10 last year and lost in the first round of districts to Crest Ridge. However, the 3-9 mark in KCI play tied the school records for wins set in 2016.

 North Platte’s Austin Snook is one of a handful of returning players for the Panthers this spring.

North Platte’s Austin Snook is one of a handful of returning players for the Panthers this spring.

The Panthers returns a pair of all-conference players in seniors Trevor Lamar (outfield) and Remington Wilson (second base).

North Platte also returns senior pitcher/infielder Austin Snook and sophomores Caine Huffman (outfield) and Blake Gibson (catcher) who have one year of experience under their belts.

Three players that are expected to make an immediate impact for the Panthers are junior outfielder Jesse Martin, junior pitcher/third baseman Jacob Oliver and sophomore infielder Andrew Hernandez.

“I am excited for the potential of our team led by our three seniors,” said Tysdahl, who will be assisted by Daniel Atkinson. “I’m hoping last year’s underclassmen gained quality experience and step up their level of play to put us in positions to win. We have a really nice looking group of juniors and seniors that have been working hard over the last three and four years and hope they can fill the leadership role.”

North Platte will need to fill the vacancies left by all-district shortstop Hunter Oliver and all-district designated hitter Garrett Lamar, but a strong sophomore class could aide in the process.

Tysdahl noted the Panthers want to be competitive in each game and some of the keys to that will be the ability to focus, hustle, and make sacrifices, while maintaining confidence in a rugged KCI Conference schedule.