ALTAMONT — The Altamont Indians had a strong season in 2013, advancing to the Kinmundy regional title game before losing a dramatic heartbreaker to South Central to end their season.
While the Indians graduated a number of starters, the cavalry has arrived in the form of a number of strong young players.
Ryan Armstrong, Klaiton Wolff, Nick Miller and Jacob Miller are expected to see playing time among the returning starters after playing on the Altamont Post 512 Junior Legion team that finished fourth in the state this summer.
"I lost a lot of seniors last year, but it's been a totally different atmosphere," said Altamont head coach Mike Dokey. "The kids are excited, they're ready to play."
Brady Winn and Devon Guerrettaz also return to the varsity team after their summer with Post 512, with the two being slated in right field and at third base, respectively.
Nick Miller and Klaiton Wolff are expected to split time at shortstop, with Wolff also seeing time at various spots around the diamond.
"Wolff, he can catch, pitch," Dokey said. "He's the first kid I can put anywhere on the field and he's going to do a great job. He's such a great athlete and competitor."
While the newcomers are causing some excitement around Altamont, there's plenty of senior leadership returning as well.
The pitching battery should be made up of seniors most of the time. Aaron Goeckner will be behind the plate for his senior year after playing with Post 512, anchoring a pitching staff that will be led by seniors Cole Borders and Garrett Ziegler.
Ziegler was 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA last year, and also wreaked havoc offensively, racking up a .431 batting average and stealing 16 bases while being named to the Effingham Daily News All-Area team.
Borders will play first and pitch much of the conference season along with Ziegler. Dokey has confidence in the makeup of both parts of the pitching game.