West Bloomfield High baseball off to strong start

By: Zachary Manning | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published April 18, 2019

 West Bloomfield High’s John Beal catches the ball during a game against Livonia Stevenson April 13. At press time, the Lakers were 3-1-1 overall.

West Bloomfield High’s John Beal catches the ball during a game against Livonia Stevenson April 13. At press time, the Lakers were 3-1-1 overall.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 West Bloomfield High’s Andrew Weiss slides into a base during a game against Livonia Stevenson April 13. The Lakers split the doubleheader against Stevenson.

West Bloomfield High’s Andrew Weiss slides into a base during a game against Livonia Stevenson April 13. The Lakers split the doubleheader against Stevenson.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — After a few years of falling short in the league and state playoffs, West Bloomfield High baseball is looking to get back on top.

The Lakers haven’t won an Oakland Activities Association White Division title or a Division 1 district title since 2015, but coach Jerry Brown believes this group has what it takes to reach those goals.

Early on, the Lakers appear to be trending in the right direction. At press time, they were 3-1-1 overall and 1-0 in the division.

“This is an unbelievably special group. If we were to reach even the league title, we would very, very much cherish that together. I want to do something special with these guys,” Brown said.

Since taking over the Lakers last season, Brown said he has tried to build the program on three things: discipline, hustle and IQ. He’s been pleased with the way his players have bought into those principles so far.

Alongside Brown, the Lakers have three captains who have helped the team get off to a strong start. Seniors Andrew Weiss, Jacob Kuhlman and Kenneth White have been leading by example and setting the tone for the season. Outside of the captains, junior John Beal has also started to be a vocal leader.

White said he tries to hold the team “to the highest standard.”

“So making sure that everybody’s in line, everybody’s doing whatever they’re supposed to be doing and making sure everybody’s on point,” he said.

West Bloomfield has a large crop of veterans. Outside of two sophomores, the squad is all juniors and seniors.

With that, the Lakers are motivated to continue the team’s winning ways. Kuhlman likes the lineup the Lakers have, but believes the team needs to continue improving defensively to make it where it wants to go.

For him and the rest of the senior class, being able to go out on top in their final year would be special.

“That would be a dream come true,” Kuhlman said of claiming league and district titles. “We’ve been working so hard in the offseason, and that would be the ultimate goal.”

Catch the Lakers on the field at 4:30 p.m. April 24 at North Farmington.

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