Vikings Baseball Hits the Field

Ruby Moxley, Staff Writer

With spring just around the corner, H-F’s baseball team is approaching the launch of their season. Starting Feb. 28, the highly-ranked team will once again take their place back on the field.

H-F baseball’s varsity coach John McCarthy has high hopes for the team this year after making it to the final round of sectionals for the first time in the program’s history this past year. H-F baseball has been incredibly well-ranked within the past five years, consistently maintaining number 15 during the 2021 season. 

“H-F baseball has a history of success. We have great tradition within the program,” McCarthy said. “We’re hoping to carry on that tradition of success and make our past alums proud.”

This year, a number of returning players are expected to come back for the 2022 season. Last year the baseball season started later in the summer, rather than in the spring like usual. “The only difference was the season started later, which I actually liked because the weather was better,” junior Dillon Head said. The other obvious difference is Covid’s current standing.  

According to the IDPH, masks are still required for indoor sports in Illinois, and H-F has followed that guideline for all sports so far this year. “We will follow the All Sports Policy set forth by the IHSA,” H-F athletic director Matthew Lyke said. “The current policy for outdoor sports is mask optional.” 

The recent 2nd Annual Viking Baseball Boosters’ Hot Stove Fundraiser took place on Feb. 5, where class of 2001 alumnus and current play-by-play announcer for the Chicago White Sox Jason Benetti helped raise money for the Viking baseball season. The event was very successful and raised plenty of funds that will be used for the team’s travel expenses. 

H-F’s current project of renovating the turf fields is also something the baseball/softball programs look forward to using with the upcoming seasons, although they won’t be completed in time for the 2022 season players to utilize them. 

Aside from Covid-related things and the small technicalities, the baseball teams are truly just excited to return to the field in a semi-normal manner, after multiple canceled and delayed seasons. “[We’re excited for] coming together as a team, competing and playing as hard as you can; obviously winning state but really going out there and playing hard against the best of the competition,” Head said. 

“We expect the team to have another solid year with hopes of a state title,” Lyke said. “This year, the program returns a number of starters along with great pitching depth.”

We look forward to following this year’s Vikings baseball team, and anticipate yet another well-ranked and successful season.