The 2020 Graves County Eagles may not be as familiar as they've been in years past when they hit the diamond this spring.
Graves lost 13 seniors to graduation, four of which went on to play at the collegiate level, following an underperforming 17-16 record in 2019.
With the chance to start fresh with another top-heavy senior led team, Graves County head coach Andy Ford said despite his team's inexperience due to last year's seniors, this years bunch has been preparing for any and all game situations.
"We've tried to put ourselves in the most situations as possible. We've also stressed mental toughness like being outside, on the field, when the temperature is in the high 20s. We've also really been on the players about the need to be more aggressive."
With top pitchers like Jordyn Naranjo (Murray State), Drew Montgomery and Mitchell O'Neill (Shawnee CC) off to college, the Eagles will turn to senior Taylor Goodwin and sophomore Drew Davis, among others, to pick up the slack on the rubber this season.
Goodwin saw the most experience on the mound last season of any returning players as he threw 3 ⅓ innings of relief, giving up one earned run while striking out three batters and walking two.
Davis also will have big shoes to fill as he saw just two innings of relief last season as a freshman.
Where the Eagles lack in pitching they'll also see struggles at the plate as many players who return from last season's team saw little to no action at the varsity level.
Despite this lack of varsity experience, the Eagles will boast a strong roster with players looking to make a name for themselves.
Catcher/Outfielder Dawson Dowdy proved himself last season in a limited role as a go-to guy for offense, hitting .333 in 39 plate appearances, scoring 15 runs while knocking in 15 RBI's.
Dowdy along with Goodwin, who batted .272 in 81 plate appearances with 18 RBI's and a near perfect 13-14 on the base paths, will be expected to lead the charge when the Eagles hit the field for game one of 2020 on Monday, March 16 at Webster County.