As the defending Class A state champion, Queensbury is going to have a target on its back whenever it takes the field.
Coach Jay Marra is ready for that, but it helps having ace Jack Sylvia back.
But Queensbury graduated nine seniors and the rest of the Foothills Council is hungry to contend for the crown.
In the Adirondack League, Lake George and Fort Ann are the typical top dogs but Hartford-Fort Edward is said to be talented and other teams will keep the league ultra-competitive.
Fort Ann features Luke Loso as its ace while the Warriors have Micheal Johnson on the mound. Both will be counted on to pull ahead in what should be a tight Adirondack League race.
South Glens Falls: With much of its roster back from last season, South High wants to lean on its experience, depth and all-around fielding experience. Connor Bovair will be a strong asset on the mound and can provide instant-offense. Seniors Dylan Schrammel and Trevor Corlew will also round out the pitching staff for South High.
Sophomore Justin Nesbitt, playing in his second varsity season, will start at catcher. The Bulldogs hope young catcher can also provide hitting spark.
Schuylerville: With 11 of their 14 players being juniors, the Black Horses have more varsity experience than it would appear on paper. Matt McCarthy, a junior, is a talented lefty with a 9-2 varsity pitching record. Schuylerville will rely on McCarthy, along with Nathan Preston and Alex Vallee. Preston plays third base and Valle is a first basemen.
Glens Falls: The Indians are inexperienced and first-year coach Phil Klaiber is not afraid to admit that. Glens Falls brings back only four players from last year’s team. One of those returnees is senior Kyle Vachon. He will be counted on to provide runs. JT Lapham is competing to be the ace of Glens Falls’ pitching staff as well.
Queensbury: The defending state champions return top pitcher Jack Sylvia and senior catcher Matt Chase. Coach Marra knows his team is young after graduating nine seniors from last year’s state title team, but he believes in their athleticism.
Argyle: For the first time in five years, varsity baseball is back in Argyle. The Scots took a five-year hiatus from fielding its own varsity baseball team. Lone senior Ryan Wilkinson looks to lead a young group of Scots after what coach Matt Lohret called a successful junior varsity season last year.
The Scots will be young, as their roster is dominated by juniors and sophomores. But Lohret believes he has an athletic group that might be capable of surprising some people this season.
Corinth: Featuring five new varsity players again this year, Corinth knows it is going to be young and inexperienced. Head coach Pete Sorbera said his team will rely on small-ball to score while focusing on defense and sound pitching.
Andrew McLaughlin will start at shortstop while John Rose is on third and Nikk Milligan and Kyle Millis will rotate between first and second base, while seeing some time in the outfield as well.
Fort Ann: The Cardinals did not graduate a single player from last year’s division-winning team. With a strong senior class, Fort Ann is in position to play into June. Big-arm Luke Loso will lead the pitching staff. He was first-team all-star last year and batted .321, with 15 RBIs.
Fellow senior Brendan Wright led the team in batting last year with a .417 average. He’ll play all over the field and was a second-team all-star last year. Junior Dylan Frost had 15 RBIs last year and ninth-grader Jack Dornan will start at shortstop.
Hadley-Luzerne: The Eagles will be thin, only fielding 11 players this year. But coach Rex Reynolds III is confident in his group due to their “Great work ethic, positive attitudes and changeability.”
Tanner Demarsh will start at shortstop and hope to anchor a team that will rely on defense. Reynolds III acknowledged there will be early gaps in their hitting.
Lake George: After winning the Class CC sectional title last year, the Warriors are back but lost nine seniors from that championship squad. Michael Johnson and Jack Mellon will captain a Lake George team that features a lot of new faces.
However, Johnson was a second-team all-star last year and is the ace of the Warriors’ pitching unit. Riley Orr also adds to what coach Erik Hoover is calling the deepest rotation in years. Senior Connor Vidnansky holds down center field.
North Warren: The Cougars were winless in 2018, but return seven varsity players from last year that remember the pain of a tough season, and as a unit, they are determined to be a much better team now.
Joe Phelps is one of those seniors whose leadership has been vital in North Warren’s offseason restructuring. He will have a major presence in the field while also pitching. Also a senior, Riley May has a strong arm and will be a top-batter for the Cougars.
Warrensburg: Led by one of the area’s top catchers in Evan MacDuff, Warrensburg features a mix of experience and youth this year. MacDuff batted .373 a year ago and had a 1.93 ERA.
Though Warrensburg graduated four seniors, Peyton Olden is a player who will see an increased role, seeing time at both third and first base. Also Bill Cameron is new to the team and should provide a spark.
Whitehall: Led by four-year starter Thomas Fish, the Railroaders return solid hitting, fielding and pitching all around despite losing standouts Evan St. Claire and Danny St. Clair from a year ago.
Also back is Ethan Patch. He provides power at the plate as well as a strong arm on the mound. Overall, Whitehall will be sound on the mound and should be able to score runs.
Cambridge: The Indians are going to lean on three-year starter Nate Genevick. He holds down first base and is the heart of the Indians’ batting order. He hit .326 last year and drove in 15 RBIs. Also returning are Kaedin Oglivie, Brian Hall and Ben Epler.
Newcomers include Dakota Grenn, Izzy Dupuis and Parker Robertson. With a balance of both newcomers and veterans, Cambridge looks to compete for a second-straight sectional final appearance.
Greenwich: The Witches will rely on five-year varsity players Carson Mosher at catcher and John Walsh at shortstop. Hitters in the top third of the lineup, they’re also solid defensively and great leaders. Christian O’Brien is a smart left-handed pitcher and a tough out at the plate.
Coach Duke Beck likes his team’s balance. He hopes the Witches have depth at pitching and show themselves to be tough outs throughout the lineup.
Saratoga Catholic: Looking for the three-peat, two-time league MVP Terel Tillman is back throwing his usual fire on the mound. He leads a Spa Catholic team that went 20-3 overall last season.
Ticonderoga: Russell Gallo III returns to the Sentinels after an all-star worthy season last year. He played a huge role in Ticonderoga reaching the state finals in 2018 by pitching complete games in the state semifinal and regional final.
The entire pitching staff is back from last year and that also means the Sentinels are loaded with experience and leadership. Michael Dushane is a four-year starter and was third-team all-state last year.