VAN BUREN’S Kaleb Snodgrass dives for a fly ball but isn’t able to snag it during a game last season. Snodgrass is one of three returning all-conference players for the Black Knights this season. Van Buren, the defending Blanchard Valley Conference champions, were beaten by McComb in their league opener on Wednesday. (Photo by Matthias Leguire)

Who will it be?

Eventually, one of the area’s 32 high school baseball programs will finally break through.

It’s been a decade since a school in The Courier’s coverage area advanced to the OHSAA state baseball tournament.

That was Patrick Henry, which won back-to-back state titles in 2008 and 2009.

Teams have been close, with a number advancing to the regional finals, but none have been able to reach the final four.

Four area schools, Van Buren, Carey, Kalida and Lakota, will be trying to defend the league titles they won in 2018.

Van Buren has won two BVC crowns in the past four years for coach Brooks Lance. The Black Knights return a trio of all-league performers in Saige Warren, Kaleb Snodgrass and Cade Whitticar.

Warren hit .442 and drove in 27 runs to net a spot on the all-BVC first team. Snodgrass (.324, 20 RBIs) and Whitticar (.315, 14 RBIs) were honorable mention all-conference.

In all, eight letterwinners are back for the Black Knights.

Carey and Lakota, though, both lost solid senior classes.

The Blue Devils won a school record 23 games on their way to winning the Northern 10 Conference. Coach Joey Roark will have to replace ace pitcher Tyler Bame (now at the University of Findlay) as well as all-Ohioans Brayden Wentling and Easton Roark.

Carey does have five returning letterwinners, including seniors Jordan Dasher and Dylan Grothaus, to try to continue the program’s run of success.

Lakota won the Sandusky Bay Conference River Division last season and has a new coach in Nate Kerr.

The Raiders lost three first-team all-league selections to graduation. The team does have one back in junior Carter Reinhart, who will both pitch and play shortstop this season.

Kalida, meanwhile, might just be the team to break the area’s state tourney drought.

Coach Joe Recker enters his sixth season at the school with a talented roster seeking to win its fourth straight Putnam County League championship.

PCL Player of the Year and first team all-Ohio pitcher Owen Recker is back for his senior season and already has pitched a no-hitter during the first week of the season.

Senior Trevor Lambert, juniors Josh Recker and Gabe Hovest, and sophomore Luke Erhart were also all-PCL honorees last season and helped the Wildcats to a 17-8 overall record.

In addition to Kerr, other area new head coaches include: Doug Depinet (New Riegel), Noah Klick (Tiffin Calvert), Lee Summers (Vanlue), Ross Shoup (McComb), Ben Warnecke (Continental) and Tyler Paugh (Hardin Northern).

No information was available on Patrick Henry.

Ada

HEAD COACH: Jason Campbell (8th year).

2018 RECORD: 5-15 overall, 1-7 Northwest Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Phillip Coulson, jr; Ethan Hall, sr.; Tyson Moore, jr.; Bryce Paul, jr.; Jaylin Burkhart, sr.; Dylan East, jr.; Matt Middlebrook, sr.; Austin Amburgey, sr.; Landon Blankenship, jr..

NOTABLE: Bulldogs reached five wins last season for the second time in the last 10 seasons and first since 2015 (7-18).

Arcadia

HEAD COACH: Dereck Uitto (11th year).

2018 RECORD: 8-15 overall, 4-7 Blanchard Valley Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Eli Palmer, sr., P/OF; Luke Metzger, sr., P/OF; Derron Seaburn, sr., 3B; Wyatt Lucas, sr., P/INF/OF; Casey Cramer, jr., OF/3B/DH; Hayden Rader, jr., P/INF/OF; Kaiden Scott, soph., P/C/INF; Dom Guillen, jr., P/IB/OF.

TOP PROSPECTS: Ethan Smarr, soph., C/P/OF/INF; E.J. Tong, soph., 1B/OF; Kaleb Decker, sr., INF/OF; Collin Yoakum, fr., P/C/OF/INF; Evan Lieurance, fr., OF/DH.

NOTABLE: Palmer (1-3, 2.76 ERA), Scott (2-3, 2.36 ERA) and Metzger (0-4, 2.84 ERA) factored in 11 of last season’s 23 pitching decisions. Palmer (.273, 12 RBI) and Scott (.234) were all-district selections. Rader had 12 stolen bases.

Arlington

HEAD COACH: Aaron Cheney (2nd year, 9-15).

2018 RECORD: 9-15 overall, 4-7 Blanchard Valley Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Brayden Bushong, C, sr; William Bushong, sr., P/IB; Evan O’Rear, sr., IF/P; Logan Below, so., OF; Frankie Jones, so., IF/P; Caden Lafferty, so., OF/P; Austin Rausch, so., OF; Zavier Thornton, so., P/OF.

TOP PROSPECTS: Trenton Comstock, so., UTIL/P; Grant Riegle, fr., OF/C; Jayden Wells, fr., IF/P; Cameron Haught, so., IF; Landon Smith, fr., OF; Chris Reed, so., OF.

NOTABLE: Brayden Bushong batted .339 last season and was an honorable mention all-BVC pick. William Bushong (.294) drove in 20 runs.

Bluffton

HEAD COACH: Mason Roth (3rd year, 10-31).

2018 RECORD: 3-17 overall, 1-7 Northwest Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Cayden Rayle, jr., C/SS/P; Jason Althaus, sr., 1B/C.

TOP PROSPECTS: Cole Koenig, fr., SS/P; Nick Prater, fr., 3B/P; Gabe Colley, jr., OF/P; Sean Casemier, jr., OF/P.

NOTABLE: Bluffton returns only two letterwinners from last year’s squad. Of those, Rayle (.286) was an honorable mention all-NWC pick.

Carey

HEAD COACH: Joey Roark (11th year, 103-116).

2018 RECORD: 23-2 overall, 15-1 Northern 10 Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Jordan Dasher, sr., CF; Dylan Grothaus, sr., P/OF; Reece Mullholand, jr., INF/P; Ian Yeater, soph., INF/P; Carter Frederick, soph., INF.

TOP PROSPECTS: Ethan Tanner, jr., P/IB; McKain Miller, jr., C/OF; Peyton Young, jr., OF; Jordan Vallejo, fr., C/INF; Trennan Stoll, fr., INF/P; Tanner Stoll, jr., INF/P.

NOTABLE: Carey earned a school-record 23 wins last season and won its first league title in 15 years. Graduation cost the program a number of standout players, including first-team all-Ohio pitcher Trey Bame (11-0, 1.06 ERA, 100 strikeouts; .476 batting average, 29 RBI) and honorable mention all-state picks Brayden Wentling (7-2, 1.24 ERA; .359) and Easton Roark (.373, 18 RBI). Joey Roark, named Ohio’s Division IV Coach of the Year, will be counting on senior veterans Jordan Dasher (.343, 15 RBI, 12 SB) and Dylan Grothaus (.222, 9 RBI) to keep the program competing at a high level.

Columbus Grove

HEAD COACH: Eric Naughton (2nd year, 8-14).

2018 RECORD: 8-14 overall, 3-4 Putnam County League/1-7 Northwest Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Brady Hauenstein, sr., C; Nick Woods, sr., P/SS; Kurt Griffith, sr., P/2B: Dane Schroeder, sr., LF/C; Alex Schneider, jr., CF/P; Brady Rudasil, jr., UTIL; Dylan Mason, sr., OF; Tayt Birnesser, so., 3B/P; Blaine Hoffman, so., OF/IF.

TOP PROSPECTS: Owen Macke, jr., 1B; Grant McCauley, jr., OF/P; Luke Otto, fr., OF/IF.

NOTABLE: Hauenstein was a first team all-PCL selection and second team all-NWC after hitting .368 with 20 RBIs. Schneider joined him on the all-NWC second team after going 3-3 with a 2.98 ERA and 36 strikeouts.

Continental

HEAD COACH: Ben Warnecke (1st year).

2018 RECORD: 5-13 overall, 2-5 Putnam County League.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Konnor Okuley, sr., CF; Jarret Keck, sr., 2B/P; Nick States, sr., P/3B/1B; Cole Bowers sr., LF/P; Gannon Prowant, jr., C/P; Brady Dockery, jr., SS/P; Blake Elkins, so., OF.

TOP PROSPECTS: Brenden Wolff, so., OF; Cody Auch, fr., OF; Kaleb Clark, fr., RF/2B; David Speiser, fr., OF; Dominick Moore, fr., OF; Jude Marshall, fr., OF; Nick McDougal, fr., OF.

NOTABLE: Warnecke takes over a Continental squad with eight letterwinners, six having earned multiple letters. States was an honorable mention all-PCL pick last season.

Cory-Rawson

HEAD COACH: Brock Bell (3rd year, 5-33).

2018 RECORD: 3-17 overall, 1-10 Blanchard Valley Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Logan Stuckey, sr.; Luke Wolford, sr.; Kyle Schultz, sr.; Louie Cira, jr.; Carson Houck, jr.; Kole Elchert, sr.; Brady Boehm, jr.

TOP PROSPECTS: .Matt White, soph.; Lance Kissebnerth, soph.; Clayton Skulina, soph.; Matt Bechtol, fr.; Ethan Boyles, fr.

NOTABLE: There are just a dozen players out for baseball at Cory-Rawson this season. Stuckey and Schultz were honorable mention all-BVC last season.

Elmwood

HEAD COACH: Kyle Reiser (34th year, 564-271).

2018 RECORD: 8-15 overall, 5-9 Northern Buckeye Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Jonathan Duvall, sr.; Cole Barton, sr.; Tyler St. Clair, sr; Carter Taft, sr; Trevor Bingham sr.; Derrick Roseman, sr; Austin Minich, sr.; Ryan Cox, sr.; Noah Veryser, jr.; Caleb Plouck, jr.; Dylan Gerkens, jr.; Zach Abke, jr.,; Zach Endicott, so.; Konner Logston, so.

TOP PROSPECTS: N/A.

NOTABLE: St. Clair was all-NBC second-team last season after batting .348 with 22 RBIs. Duvall was honorable mention.

Fort Jennings

HEAD COACH: Matt Dube (3rd year, 54-78).

2018 RECORD: 13-9 overall, 3-4 Putnam County League.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Derek Luersman, sr., SS/P; Aaron Kloeppel, sr., 2B/P; Nolan Grote, sr., C/OF; Simon Smith, sr., OF/P; Kyle Norbeck, jr., 1B/P; Thomas Calvelage, jr., 3B/P/C; Brad Eickholt, jr., CF/C; Zach Schulte, so., Util/P; Evan Hoersten, so., IF/P.

TOP PROSPECTS: Logan Schimmoeller, jr., OF; Noah Wittler, jr., OF/P/3B.

NOTABLE: Luersman, a second-team all-PCL pick after hitting .371 and recording a 2.59 ERA with 31 strikeouts, leads nine returning letterwinners.

Fostoria

HEAD COACH: Justin Gunka (3rd year).

2018 RECORD: 4-24, 1-13 North Buckeye Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Dylan Sheets, sr., SS/P; Alex Sierra, sr., P/UTIL; Jacob Counts, sr., P/OF; Trey Groves, sr., P/3B; Jesus Garcia, sr., 1B/DH; Karsen Bemis, sr., C/P; Ian Brown, jr., OF; Devin Mauricio, jr., OF; Anonte Reed, jr., OF/P; LaMont Fant, jr., P/OF.

TOP PROSPECTS: Quincy McDonald,, fr., IF/P.

NOTABLE: Sheets and Groves were received honorable mention recognition last season in both the Northern Buckeye Conference and District 9. A year’s experience should prove invaluable for a maturing team with six seniors and 11 juniors on the roster.

Hardin Northern

HEAD COACH: Tyler Paugh (1st year).

2018 RECORD: 2-19 overall, 1-6 Northwest Central Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Brady Cramer, sr., C/P; Hunter Jolliff, sr., OF/P; Daylin Pees, jr., OF/P; Luke Wilson, so., IF; Owen Wetherill, so., SS/P; Mason Roby, so., 3B/1B; Cole Morris, so., OF/P.

TOP PROSPECTS: Lance Good, so., 1B; Zach Kurtz, fr., 2B/SS/3B; Tristan Steele, jr., OF; Seth Parsons, jr., 3B; Adrius Franklin, so., 2B/SS; Skyler Waller, so., OF.

NOTABLE: Hardin Northern brings back a lot of youth. Four of the Polar Bears’ seven letterwinners are sophomores with another in Good who missed the year due to injury.

Hopewell-Loudon

HEAD COACH: Tony Swanagan (3rd year, 178-107).

2018 RECORD: 14-9 overall, 7-4 Blanchard Valley Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Jaret Nelson sr., OF; Bailey Breidenbach, sr., OF; Cody Balliet, sr., OF; Gage Burns, sr., P/IF; Connor Roush sr., OF; Ethan Sendelbach, sr., IF; Travis Milligan, jr., IF/P; Ethan Oswalt, sr., P/OF; Marshall Reinhard, jr., C/OF; Noah Miller, so., P.

TOP PROSPECTS: Ashton Bour, fr., C; Peyton Burns, so., 2B; Ethan Watkins, so., 1B/C; Adam Sendelbach, so., OF; Luke Jameson, so., P; Tyler Fedele, fr., P; Owen Schumm fr., P.

NOTABLE: Milligan led H-L in hitting at .389 and with 24 runs scored to earn second-team all-District and all-BVC honors.

Kalida

HEAD COACH: Joe Recker (6th year, 81-42).

2018 RECORD: 17-8 overall, 7-0 Putnam County League.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Owen Recker, sr., P/1B; Trevor Lambert, sr., C/OF; Ethan Schmenk, sr., OF/IF/P; Josh Recker, jr., IF/OF/P; Clay Bellman, jr., OF/P; Noah Miller, jr., OF/C; David Peck, jr., P/IF; Tyler Klausing, jr., P/OF; Matt Kehres, jr., P/IF/OF; Zach von der Embse, jr., OF/C; Gabe Hovest, jr., IF/OF; Luke Erhart, so. OF/P.

TOP PROSPECTS: Ryan Lucke, so.; Ayden Warnecke, so.; Brandon Miller, so.; Alec Edelbrock, jr.

NOTABLE: Kalida has a dozen letterwinners back, including PCL Player of the Year Owen Recker, as the Wildcats try to win their fourth straight league championship.

Lakota

HEAD COACH: Nate Kerr (1st year).

2018 RECORD: 10-10 overall, 7-3 Sandusky Bay Conference River Division.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Cameron Balderson, sr., 1B; Caleb Mahler, sr., OF; Colin Hipsher, sr., OF; Jake Huffman, sr., IF; Jordan Sampson, jr., P; Carter Reinhart, jr., SS/P; Kayden Wasserman, jr., OF/IF; Clint Ellison, jr., IF; Charles Thomas, jr., C.

TOP PROSPECTS: Jayden Bonnell, so., IF; Austin Nuhfer, so., P/IF; Gabe Dohanyos, soph., OF; Josh Matz, fr., C/IF; Ben Hovis, so. OF/P.

NOTABLE: The Raiders have a new head coach in Kerr, who was an assistant last season. Lakota lost a trio of first-team all-SBC River Division players. Reinhart, a first team all-league selection as a sophomore, does return.

Leipsic

HEAD COACH: Darren Henry (18th year).

2018 RECORD: 9-15 overall, 5-6 Blanchard Valley Conference, 2-7 Putnam County League.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Dylan Schroeder, sr., P/IF/C; Cole Rieman sr., SS/P; Tyler Hiegel, sr., IF/P/C; Drew Liffick, jr., OF/P; Grant Steingas, jr., OF; Mitchell Lammers, jr., IF/OF/C; Jaden Siefker, so., IF/P; Tyler Sickmiller, so., IF/P.

TOP PROSPECTS: Reese Mangas, sr., 1B; Greg Larson, so., IF/OF.

NOTABLE: Schroeder missed most of last season with an ACL injury but still was a first team all-BVC and all-PCL selection after hitting .317 and sporting a 2.03 ERA. Rieman (.234, 2.41) and Hiegel (2.74, 3.44) were second team all-PCL and all-BVC picks, respectively.

Liberty-Benton

HEAD COACH: Matt Rader (3rd year, 21-21).

2018 RECORD: 11-10 overall, 8-3 Blanchard Valley Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Griffin Snider, sr., P/IF; Logan Sterling, sr., C; Anthony Wolford, sr., P/OF; Luke McDonald, jr., P/OF; Michael Erdeljac, jr., IF; Elliott Veenstra, so., P/IF; Cole Busch, so., P/IF; Race Gorrell, so., P/IF.

TOP PROSPECTS: Drew Broerman, sr., IF; Brandon Maas, sr., OF; Jon Wenzinger, sr., IF; Andrew Grimm, sr., OF; Marcellus Eckford, jr., OF; Kaden Ebert, so., OF; Mason Richards, so., OF; Nathaniel DiRe, so., IF/OF; Eli Nichols, so., P/IF; Jack Slezak, so., C.

NOTABLE: Snider, who batted .291 and posted a 3.90 ERA with 49 strikeouts was first team all-BVC in 2018. Gorrell (.369) was an honorable mention as a freshman after finishing with a 2.41 ERA and 33 strikeouts.

McComb

HEAD COACH: Ross Shoup (1st year).

2018 RECORD: 12-9 overall, 9-2 Blanchard Valley Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Tanner Schroeder, sr., SS/P; Tristan Sherick, sr., OF/P; Andrew Smith, sr., C; Tyler Durfey, sr., IF/P; Kyle Wasson, jr., IF/P; Kaplan Threet, jr., 1B; Nate Bishop, jr., IF; Jacob Dillon, jr., OF; Jared Dillon, so., DH.

TOP PROSPECTS: Jake Simons, sr., OF; Evan Wartgow, sr., 3B; Mike Vance, jr., 3B/OF; Aaron Davis, jr., 2B/OF; Bo Bishop, jr., OF; Tyler Garinger, jr., OF; Ian Long, fr., OF.

NOTABLE: Panthers are loaded with upperclassmen as six seniors and 10 juniors comprise the 18-man roster. Schroeder was named Blanchard Valley Conference Player of the Year after recording nine wins and 96 strikeouts. Sherick (.415) was a second team all-BVC pick.

Miller City

HEAD COACH: Dusty Pester (10th year, 164-68).

2018 RECORD: 13-8 overall, 4-3 Putnam County League.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Cole Niese, sr., C/CF; Chase Kuhlman, sr.. P/OF; Eli Ellerbrock, jr., P/1B; Tyler Long, jr., OF/P; Jacob Koening, jr., IF

TOP PROSPECTS: Boyd Vance, sr., OF; Nick Gable, jr., CF; Connor Niese, jr., 3B; Anthony Inkrott, jr.; Ezra Deitering, jr., IF; Trevor Niese, so.; Corbin Ruck, so.; Devin Pester, so.; T.J. Michel, so; Caleb Giesken, so.

NOTABLE: Cole Niese was a first-team all-PCL selection a year ago. Pester thinks the Wildcats have a solid group of pitchers, but he’s looking for someone to step up and assume the role of the team’s ace.

Mohawk

HEAD COACH: Eric Hoover (13th year, 181-120).

2018 RECORD: 11-13 overall, 6-10 Northern 10 Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Cole Widmer, sr., P/IF; Tanner Osborn sr., P/C; Bryce Kirian sr., OF; Kurtis Ekleberry, jr., OF; Trey Combs, so., P/IF; Tyler Hayman, so., IF; Jesse Leeth, so., OF; Landen Snyder, so., P/IF; Kedryk Leeth, sr., 1B.

TOP PROSPECTS: Bryce Sheets, jr., C/IF; Nathan Geary, fr., IF/P; Reese Hannam, fr., IF; Jacob Coldiron, fr., OF.

NOTABLE: Kedryk Leeth (.405, 20 RBIs) and Combs (.303, 19 RBIs) were second-team all-N10 picks and honorable mention all-district. Leeth, though, had labrum surgery in December and probably won’t return.

New Riegel

HEAD COACH: Doug Depinet (1st year).

2018 RECORD: 12-8 overall, 7-3 Sandusky Bay Conference River Division.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Cole Noftz, sr., SS/P; Andrew Seifert, sr., 3B/1B; Darek Feindel, sr., OF; Blake Depinet, sr., 1B; Jacob Theis, jr., C/P; Nick Reinhart, jr., IF/P; Chris Acree, jr., IF/OF; Eric Theis, jr., IF/OF; Hayden Hohman, so., IF/OF; Brandon Seifert, so., IF/OF.

TOP PROSPECTS: Joe Tiell, fr., IF/OF; Logan Schalk, fr., IF/P; Will Clouse, fr., IF/OF; Will Heighman, fr., C/OF; Cole Miller, fr., 1B/OF; Brandon Gillig, fr., OF; Carson Whipple, fr., 1F/OF.

NOTABLE: Cole Noftz was selected second team all-District 9 and first team all-Sandusky Bay Conference River Division after hitting .423 with 25 RBIs. Noftz also went 5-2 on the mound with 52 strikeouts in 36 innings of work.

North Baltimore

HEAD COACH: Marty Gazarek .

2018 RECORD: 13-9 overall, 7-4 Blanchard Valley Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Alex Snyder, sr., 1B/P; Levi Gazarek, jr., P/SS; Brendan Cotterman, sr., P/3B; Jaden Bucher, jr., C/3B; Zach Weinandy, soph., IF.

TOP PROSPECTS: Clayton Heineman, jr., OF; Gabe Gazarek, soph., OF; Mitch Clark, fr., SS/OF; Gunner Kepling, fr., P/OF; Caiden Phillips, fr., 2B/OF; Logan Keller, fr., OF; Jeremiah Suman, fr., OF; Jacob Nagel, fr., OF; Brock Baltz, fr., OF; Isaiah Boyd, fr., C.

NOTABLE: The Tigers will field a young team this season. There are two seniors and eight freshmen on the school’s 16-player roster. Three-sport standout Levi Gazarek is back after earning a spot on the all-BVC first team for the second straight season.

Old Fort

HEAD COACH: Bart Clouse (2nd year, 8-12).

2018 RECORD: 8-12 overall, 3-7 Sandusky Bay Conference River Division.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Jarrett Woodall, sr., 1B; David Kupka, sr., IF/OF; Kaleb Wilkinson, jr., P/OF/1B; Cole Bigelow, jr., C/P/IF; Jordan Smith, jr., P/OF; Cole Eckhart, jr., OF.

TOP PROSPECTS: .Eddie Webb, so., P/OF’; Shane Ott, so., IF/p; Casey Clouse, fr., IF/P; Parker Dubois, fr., IF/OF/P; Myles Miller, fr., 3B/P/C; Alec King, fr., IF/OF; Jared Olmstead, fr., OF.

NOTABLE: Wilkinson gives the Stockaders a solid option at pitcher. He fanned more than 100 batters last season on his way to earning sec ond-team all-league honors.

Ottawa-Glandorf

HEAD COACH: Nick Miller (13th year, 181-106).

2018 RECORD: 14-8 overall, 5-4 Western Buckeye League.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Logan Miller, jr., C/OF; Ethan Alt, jr., P/IF; Grant Hovest, jr., OF; Jaxon Buddlemeyer, so., P/IF.

TOP PROSPECTS: Beau Fawcett, sr., IF; Trey Nienberg, jr., P/OF/IF; Cory Warnecke, jr., C/IF; Jarrett Johns, jr., P/IF; Jacob Balbaugh, so., P/IF; Wes Davidson, so., OF/P; Dylan Wagner, so., OF/P; Trevor Schimmoeller, so., IF; Alex Macke, fr., P/C/IF.

NOTABLE: While the Titans lack experience with just four returning letterwinners, the foundation is there for a stronger future with only one senior among the top prospects.

Ottoville

HEAD COACH: Ty Wannemacher (5th year, 38-55.

2018 RECORD: 10-9 overall, 4-3 Putnam County League.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Dylan Kemper, sr., IF/P; Jaden Schnipke, sr., OF/IF; Jack Langhals, so., C/IF; Josh Thorbahn, so., IF/P; Trae Schlagbaum, so., OF/IF/P.

TOP PROSPECTS: Carson Miller, so., IF; Brice Schroeder, so., IF/OF/P; Dru Hilvers, fr., IF/OF; Nolan Miller, fr., IF/OF; Carter Schnipke, fr., IF/OF/P.

NOTABLE: Ottoville has five letterwinners but only 10 players on its roster. Wannemacher sees the strengths of the team as versatility, defense and baserunning.

Pandora-Gilboa

HEAD COACH: Greg Liedtke (3rd year, 12-34).

2018 RECORD: 6-14 overall, 3-4 Putnam County League, 3-8 Blanchard Valley Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Brennen Morman, sr., P/UTIL; Alex Ricker, jr., P/OF; Trey Hovest, so., 2B/SS/P; Tommy Hovest, so., C/1B/P.

TOP PROSPECTS: Eli Huffman, fr., SS/2B/P; Ryan Johnson, fr., 1B/P; Payton Traxler, sr., UTIL.

NOTABLE: Only four letterwinners return. Ricker (2-3, 4.37 ERA) is the only multi-winner of the quartet.

Riverdale

HEAD COACH: Drew Bostic (2nd year, 12-11).

2018 RECORD: 12-11 overall, 7-4 Blanchard Valley Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Seth McElree, sr.; Miles Frey, sr., Alec Loveridge, sr.; Curtis Tracy, jr.; Brock Davis, jr.; Andrew Kuenzli, so.; Luke Morris, so.

TOP PROSPECTS: Jacob Tackett, sr.; Andrew Borkosky, sr.; Dakota Greer, sr; Patrick Stevens, jr.; Trevor Hattery, so.; Reese Haley, so.

NOTABLE: McElree, Frey and Loveridge are all three-year letterwinners. McELree was a second team all-BVC pick while Loveridge was honorable mention.

Tiffin Calvert

HEAD COACH: Noah Klick (1st year).

2018 RECORD: 11-11 overall, 5-5 Sandusky Bay Conference River Division.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Brayden Thomas, sr., C/OF; Jacob Kin, sr., IF/OF; Nolan Wuescher, jr., P/IF; Luke Ritzler, jr., IF; Travis Everhart, jr., IF; Josh Gase, so., P/IF; Ethan Vera, so., P/IF; Quinten Ronski, so., IF; Leo Longo, so., OF; Nick Seifert, so., OF.

TOP PROSPECTS: Max Paul, fr., P/IF/OF; Nick Fretz, fr., P/IF; Ethan Sauber, fr., IF/OF; Hunter Yeahle, fr., OF/C: Bob Price, fr., IF/OF.

NOTABLE: Tiffin Calvert has nine letterwinners, five of which were freshmen last season. Wuescher was a second team all-SBC River selection and honorable mention all-district.

Upper Sandusky

HEAD COACH: Scott Emerick (5th, 57-44).

2018 RECORD: 15-9 overall, 11-5 Northern 10 Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Ben Sheaffer, sr.; Brenyn Marquart, sr.; Jason Holly, sr.; Parker Frombaugh sr.; Diago Cazares, jr.; Keaton Cunningham, jr.

TOP PROSPECTS: Kolby Taylor, jr., OF; Jordan Wright, so., 2B/C; Brandon Giesey, jr., UTIL/IF; Jaxon Passet, jr., OF; Ashton Shepherd, jr., 2B.

NOTABLE: Sheaffer led the Rams in hitting at .397 to earn a second-team all-N10 nod. Marquart was honorable mention and notched eight doubles, two home runs and 22 RBIs.

Van Buren

HEAD COACH: Brooks Lance (7th year, 260-170).

2018 RECORD: 18-6 overall, 12-0 Blanchard Valley Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Isaiah Wolford, jr., OF; Brady Rader, sr., P/OF; Caden Lance, jr., IF; Kaleb Snodgrass, jr., 1B/DH; Saige Warren, jr., C/P; AJ Overmyer, jr., IF; Blake Jones, so., IF; Cade Whitticar, jr., P/UT.

TOP PROSPECTS: Max Greenawalt,, so., OF; Austin Switzer, jr., P/C/OF; Clarence Durliat, fr., IF; Cody Word, jr., IF: Trey Rample, fr., P/IF; Chance Conley, fr., P; Jace McCartney, so., 1B/3B.

NOTABLE: Black Knights ran the table in the BVC for their second league title in the last four seasons. Warren, a first-team all-BVC selection, batted .442 with 27 RBIs and eight doubles. Snodgrass (.324, 20 RBIs) and Whitticar (.315, 14 RBIs) were honorable mention all-BVC.

Vanlue

HEAD COACH: Lee Summers (1st year).

2018 RECORD: 2-18 overall, 1-10 Blanchard Valley Conference.

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Xavier Temple, jr., SS/P; Kerean Ward, jr., IF/P; Evan Gregory, jr., IF; Jared Kloepfer, soph., P/OF; Jacob Baird, soph., C; Joey Bonham, soph., IF/P.

TOP PROSPECTS: Jaren Kloepfer, fr., P/IF; Alec Dunbar, fr., OF; Riley Okuley, sr.; Preston Row, soph.; Tyson Brenneman, soph.; Ty Miller, fr.

NOTABLE: Lee Summers takes charge of the program this year with an eye on the future. The Wildcats have 13 players and just one senior.

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