Now a coach, Farley leads Winner/Colome to state B Legion tourney
WINNER -- Last year Winner/Colome's J.D. Farley was playing in the Class B state Legion baseball tournament. This year he's coaching in it.
Farley, a utility player on last year's team that went 0-2 at state, is now the head coach for Winner/Colome.
"For me being younger, it was pretty easy to adapt and know the players' tendencies," Farley said of taking over the head-coaching role. "I'm here to help them out and win. I want them to do well. I played with them last year and I want them to get an opportunity I didn't have and that's to play in the championship game."
Winner/Colome (11-10) starts its state tournament at 10 a.m. today against Flandreau in the opening game of the double-elimination, eight-team tournament in Webster. Winner/Colome won Region 7B to qualify for state, defeating St. Thomas More 10-8 in the region title game.
During its four region contests, Winner/Colome averaged 12.5 runs per game.
"Our hitting has been our strong point this year," Farley said.
Adam Farner -- who plays shortstop, catcher and is the team's top pitcher -- leads the team with a .485 batting average. He also has 21 RBIs and four home runs on the season.
Reed Harter and Nolan Donahue each hold .324 averages. Harter also plays shortstop and catcher, and Farley listed Landon Ingle, a center fielder, and Tanner Fritz, a third baseman, as top defenders.
Farley said the team hasn't played Flandreau and doesn't know much about their first-round opponent.
"They're going to have some experience and have some guys back," said Farley, who listed defending champion Groton as the tournament's favorite. "We're going to have to play well. You have to play your best at state and you always have to worry about yourself.
"We're looking to win the first game and then take it to the next one."
Other first-round games at the tournament are McCook/Miner vs. Vermillion; Milbank vs. Tabor; and Webster vs. Groton.