Baseball coach Mike Miller couldn't be happier with the leadership he received from this quintet.
While the end of the 2014 varsity baseball season came far too soon for Mike Miller's taste, Honesdale's veteran skipper makes it a habit to dwell on the positive over any negatives.
“I'm always sad to see a season end,” Coach Miller said. “But, I'll say this right off the bat: These kids were just an absolute delight to work with.
“They did everything the right way. They competed in every game and I'm very proud of them.”
The Hornets closed out the campaign with an 8-9 overall record, going 5-8 in the Lackawanna League.
Coach Miller's squad qualified for the District 2 tournament, but fell to North Pocono in the first round of the Class AAA bracket by a score of 11-3.
“That game was kind of our season in a nutshell,” said Coach Miller. “North Pocono is a good team, but we hung right with them until that one bad inning...”
He went on to say that 'one bad inning' proved to be the Hornets' downfall on more than one occasion.
“That's one area where we have to improve,” Miller added “In something like 60 percent of games, the team that wins scores more runs in one inning that the losing team does in the entire game.
“We have to avoid that 'one bad inning.'”
Honesdale received stellar leadership from its core group of seniors.
Kevin Miller, Dale Weidner, Noah Box, Alex Sandercock and Travis Carey each played an unique role for the Red & Black this spring.
Miller is a standout multi-sport athlete who also earned Lackawanna League All Star status in football and basketball.
Kevin only started one game at the varsity level last year, but quickly emerged as Honesdale's most consistent hitter during his senior season.
Miller batted led the team in batting with a robust .468 average. He also banged out more hits (22) and scored more runs (11) than any other Hornet.
Kevin showed some serious pop from the lead-off spot as well, roping a team-best five doubles and also hitting a homerun.
“I'm very happy with how Kevin played this year,” said Miller of his son. “He loves to compete and he loves challenges. Kevin had an outstanding senior season for us.”
Weidner was the ace of the Red & Black staff. The senior southpaw was among the Division II leaders in wins strikeouts (36) wins (3) and ERA (4.35).
“One of the best things about Dale is that he was always ready to pitch,” said Coach Miller. “He did all the work between starts to make sure he was ready to go again.
“Any time Dale went out there, we knew we had a chance to win.”
Box anchored the Hornet infield from his shortstop position, providing Gold Glove defense game-in and game-out.
Noah hit in hard luck for most of the season. He drove the ball to all fields, but these line drives and ground balls always seemed to find an enemy glove.
Nevertheless, he rarely let his frustration show.
“Noah Box is a coach's dream,” said Coach Miller. “He just loves baseball. Noah can't get enough of playing the game and it really shows.”
Sandercock made the move from catcher to first base last season and never looked back.
Alex was consistent with the glove, solid on the bases and a positive presence in the middle of the order.
“I think that Alex was one of the hardest-working kids on the team,” Coach Miller said. “He was always there, always doing everything he could to improve his game.”
Carey played the vast majority of his senior season at the JV level, but was without question the team's most vocal leader.
“I love having Travis around and his teammates did, too,” Coach Miller said. “He's a great kid and a real leader in the dugout, at practice and on the field.”
Over & Out
Honesdale finished below .500 this spring, a number that Coach Miller hopes to improve on dramatically next year.
“We have some really good players coming back and some talented youngsters coming up,” he said.
“You're never happy with a losing season, but at the same time I think the future looks bright.”