On Jan. 27 the opening day of practice for high school baseball teams, the Van Alstyne Leader dropped by Forrest Moore Park to visit with Panther coach Jimmy Haynes and softball coach Jason Brogdon.

Brogdon’s team has been busy since opening day for that sport, Jan. 20.

“Our numbers are down a little this year, but we still have some players involved with basketball,” Brogdon said.

Senior Peyton Welch was on hand to lend her veteran experience, along with junior pitcher/first baseman Madi Williams.

After four varsity scrimmages, softball season opens on Feb. 14 at Anna.

Coach Haynes will have more than adequate numbers, but his 2017 team will be lacking in experience at the varsity level.

“We’re going to be really young this season and we have to find pitching as our first step,” Haynes said.

The Panthers lost six pitchers to graduation last season and finding replacements for those spots will the the first task of the new season.

The regular baseball season will open on Feb. 23 at the Pottsboro tournament.