BROWNSTOWN — Sometimes, two is better than one.
The Brownstown Bombers and St. Elmo Eagles are hoping that idiom is true, as the two schools are combining this year to form the Brownstown/St. Elmo Bombers.
It's the first of the co-op programs on the boys side of athletics for the two schools, as the girls basketball team formed a co-op last year and the softball team has been a co-op for years.
So while both teams lost players to graduation, the two squads have bolstered each other.
"That's a good start right there," said head coach Ryan Beccue. "Having 18 players go out instead of 10 or 11 is huge. It creates competition, so kids work harder for playing time. The more kids go out, the better chance of putting together a better lineup."
St. Elmo went 11-7 last season, falling to South Central in the Kinmundy regional semifinal. The Cougars made it to the sectional championship after downing St. Elmo. Brownstown losts its regional opener to Patoka in the same regional, with Patoka advancing to the semis.
The pitching staff will be anchored by a player from each of the teams. Senior Jacob Behrends from Brownstown and fellow senior Levi Maxey will be the two workhorses for the Bombers.
A number of upperclassmen — namely Drake Hall and Dalton Parks — will contribute to the rotation, as well as sophomore Noah Flowers and freshman Landon Feezel.
"It will be nice to have some options past about three guys like we have been used to," Beccue said.
The upperclassmen also lead the team, as the Bombers bring five seniors and two juniors to the lineup.
"We have five seniors and seven upperclassmen who have played and contributed for their teams," Beccue said.
Senior Dustin Lawson will form the back half of the battery, providing veteran leadership to a similarly experienced pitching staff.