With a full roster of multi-sport athletes, Southeast hopes to turn athletic potential into victories | High school baseball

Whether teams possess dominant throwing, power hitting, or complete defensive strength, there are many winning formulas in high school baseball.

The Lincoln Southeast Knights might have found their own formula – speed and athleticism. This year’s Southeast baseball team is loaded with multi-sport athletes, with 10 of the team’s 20 varsity players also participating in college football in the fall.

Since head coach Montana Jones is also an assistant coach for the Southeastern varsity football team, he’s seen firsthand how competing in multiple sports can help players overcome adversity.

“Southeast has always been proud of the tradition of multi-sport athletes, and it has been that way for a long, long time,” Jones said. “I obviously want baseball guys to play football because they can compete in different avenues, which helps your mental toughness.”

Some of the stars going from the gridiron to the baseball field include senior quarterback Willem Reddick, wide receiver Will Barrett, leading tackle Will Jesske and tight/defensive end Luke Blatchford.

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Even the Knights’ best forward in the fall, junior Max Buettenback, will also be leading the team’s offensive load this spring. A first-team Super-State selection a year ago after hitting over .450, Buettenback is a Nebraska baseball rookie who is always tough on opposing pitchers.

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When he walks the outfield off the plate, Buettenback will do so with another future Husker, albeit in a different sport – senior Jake Appleget. Engaged in NU football, Appleget had not played baseball since his first season before joining the team this year. After scoring its first hit in nearly three years last week, it’s clear some of Appleget’s old skills are coming back to it.

“He’s probably one of the best athletes we’ve had in the Southeast,” Jones said. “He was going to have his growing pains a bit to come back, but defensively he did really well and kept working hard.”

With a focus on team baseball, speed off the bases and smart batting offensively, Southeast will rely on their throwing to stay competitive this year. The vast majority of the Knights roster will contribute on the mound after many players gain experience late in the 2021 spring season or during American Legion summer baseball.

He may not have a true ace that’s head and shoulders above the rest of the rotation, but the SE’s depth will help him fight through busy times, like when he will play four games in five days next week.

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“We have much better depth this year; some of these sophomores from last year who are now juniors got their feet wet, so the nerves are out at this point,” Jones said.

As the city’s most storied baseball program, expectations in the Southeast are always centered around the playoffs. After appearing in the state tournament four straight seasons from 2015-2018, Southeast hasn’t returned since.

Such goals are still a long way off, but Jones is convinced of one thing: the sheer potential of his multi-sport athlete roster should keep the Knights competitive throughout the season as long as they follow the new club motto. team.

“It’s called the 1% rule – everyone gets 1% better every day,” Jones said. “Our big thing is just winning the day because we’re not picking on anybody else; we do it on ourselves.

Contact the writer at 402-473-7437 or [email protected] On Twitter @lmullin7

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