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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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Winter Warm-up – Youngsville

Youngsville Eagles
Coach (season, record): Tom Craig (4th season, 12-43)
2011 overall record: 9-10
2011 region record (place): 4-2 (second)
2011 playoff results: Defeated Rocky Grove 3-1 and lost to Mercyhurst Prep 6-0 in the District 10 playoffs.
Top players lost: D.J. Rose, Christian Bundy, Joe Yaegle, Jeremy Clark
Top returning players: Cory Craig, Broc Horn, Josh Lewis, Jake Marino
Assistant coach: Wayne Marino
Outlook: Youngsville will once again have a competitive team but replacing D.J. Rose, Christian Bundy, Joe Yaegle and Jeremy Clark won’t be easy. Last year the Eagles won the first playoff game in school history and will need several new players to step up and contribute. Cory Craig, Broc Horn, Josh Lewis and Jake Marino bring experience back, while Caleb Linkerhof, Tyler Lehman, Dan McLaughlin and Sawyer Dininny could be big-time contributors as well. Craig, a California (Pa.) recruit, was named the region pitcher and co-player of the year last year and is a standout shortstop as well. Horn was a second-team catcher last season while Linkherhof is coming back from an injury. Youngsville can be a contender this season, especially in Region 5 with Mercyhurst Prep facing numerous question marks.

2 Fairview 4
9 North East 4
11 at Northwestern 4
13 Titusville 4
16 at Seneca 4
18 Mercyhurst Prep* 4
20 at Iroquois* 4
23 at Eisenhower* 4
25 at Fairview 4
27 Rocky Grove 4
30 at North East 4
2 Northwestern 4
7 at Titusville 4
9 Seneca 4
11 at Mercyhurst Prep* 4
14 Iroquois* 4
16 Eisenhower* 4
*Region games

Coach: Mark Nyquist
2011 overall record: 10-9
2011 region record (place): 10-8 (fifth)
2011 playoff results: Lost to West Middlesex 5-3 in the District 10 playoffs.
Top player lost: Nicole Ciukaj
Top returning players: Colleen Rex, Elise Dunn, Amber Fox, Shelby Anderson
Assistant coaches: Brian Reynolds, Wally Ciukaj, Ron Jameson
Outlook: Youngsville has a big hole to fill with the graduation of Nicole Ciukaj. The Eagles will look to Amber Fox and Colleen Rex to see time on the mound as well as sophomore Katie Gustafson. Youngsville returns Elise Dunn and Shelby Anderson as well as Fox and Rex. The Eagles are in a tough region that is full of playoff contenders. If Youngsville can navigate its way through the region healthy and in a position to make the playoffs, the Eagles could be a tough out in late May.

27 Eisenhower* 4
29 Fairview* 4
30 at Sheffield 4
3 at Girard* 4
10 Iroquois* 4
12 at Northwestern* 4
14 Villa Maria* 4
17 at North East* 4
19 General McLane* 4
21 at Seneca* 11 a.m.
24 at Eisenhower* 4
26 at Fairview* 4
27 Girard* 4
1 at Iroquois* 4
3 Northwestern* 4
8 at Villa Maria* 4
10 North East* 4
15 at General McLane* 4
17 Seneca* 4
18 Sheffield 4
*Region games

– Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Baseball, Softball, Winter Warm-up

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