The Alliance FNBO Spartans Seniors have worked hard throughout their season that was shortened due to coronavirus, packing in 47 games in six weeks and finishing the season 31-16.
Coach Carlos Palomo said he was impressed with the players as they adapted to changes on the fly.
“Overall, with this year, given the circumstances we’ve been in, I’m pretty proud of the way we competed,” said Palomo. “We were very busy, and trying to make the most of the situation.
“There was no better year for this, which is why I scheduled so many games,” Palomo said. “The kids got opportunities, especially at the junior level. The kids are young enough to play dual roster, and they’ve seen a lot of games. To get their feet wet, it’s huge going into next year, to have them know our expectations. They should become more of a leader for these other rookie kids coming into the program. It was a great year for development. It was unfortunate that we only had two weeks to prepare for practice, but it kind of seemed like our games were our practices.”
Wrapping up the post-season tournament in Bennington, Palomo noticed areas for the team to grow next year. He cited the malleability of the younger players as an important trait for the team moving forward.
“During the post-season tournament, I feel like we left a lot of runners on base, but we battled back and stayed in the game,” said Palomo. “Unfortunately we came up short against Gering. I’m proud of the way the young kids adapted and progressed throughout the season. There’s still a lot to learn, but, given the circumstances, I’ve been pretty pleased.”
The program will lose a handful of players next year, as they progress to the next level. Trevor DuBray and JJ Garza will go to WNCC. DuBray will play as a pitcher, and Garza will be a position player. Collin Schrawyer will go to Mount Marty, where he will be looked at as a position player and as a pitcher. Joel Baker will go to Concordia for basketball.
Palomo said he will miss coaching those players, noting they are welcome in the dugout anytime.
“When I first got to Alliance, and was a teacher at the Alliance Middle School, this was the first class I met,” said Palomo. “They’ve got a special place in my heart. They’ve been here, since I’ve been here, so to be with them every step of the way has been a blessing. It’s been an honor to coach them. They will be missed, for sure.”