Lake seniors hoping for home run final season

FELTON — Success in baseball perhaps more than any other sport relies on how quickly players can put the past behind them.

At Lake Forest High, a pair of seniors can’t wait to do just that.

Coming off a 2014 campaign that ended on the very last day – a devastating 6-5 loss to Woodbridge that sent the Blue Raiders to the playoffs as Henlopen South champions – Chris Sipple and Logan Simpson are looking to get back on the diamond.

Lake Forest senior Logan Simpson is hoping the Spartans can make history this season. (The Journal/Jeff Mitchell)

Lake Forest senior Logan Simpson is hoping the Spartans can make history this season. (The Journal/Jeff Mitchell)

They’ll get their wish, weather permitting, when the Spartans travel to Sussex Central Tuesday for their 4:15 p.m. season opener.

“When March 1 got here we were ready,” said Sipple of the normal starting date for baseball practice. “But now we’re excited to start the season. It’s been a long time.”

What’s been even longer is Lake Forest’s playoff drought. The Spartans haven’t sent a team to the postseason since 1998. Lake’s last time winning the Henlopen Conference Southern Division was in 1995.

Those are a pair of streaks both seniors are hoping will end this year.

“Tears were falling last year, we really wanted it,” Sipple said. “It would mean a lot to win (the South) with this group of guys.”

Simpson agreed with his class and teammate.

“Last year we missed the South by one game, but we have a lot of returning players and a lot of skill, (so) I have high expectations for this year,” said Simpson, who was a member of the Henlopen South champion Lake Forest football team.

“Winning the South in football was big for the community,” Simpson said. “We had a lot of leadership on our football team and it really drove everybody to do well. I’m trying to translate that over to the baseball season. Just trying to keep everybody up. One of our biggest problems in the past is people getting down and our baseball gets sloppy. If we can stay up we can be a really dominant baseball team.”

Although the boys’ soccer team, which Sipple was a part of, didn’t quite win the South or reach the playoffs last fall, the Spartans finished 9-5-1. That was coming off a 1-13-1 mark from 2013.

Looking at what the soccer team accomplished, Sipple said, should serve as inspiration for the baseball club.

Chris Sipple is one of many seniors on the Spartans' roster. (The Journal/Jeff Mitchell)

Chris Sipple is one of many seniors on the Spartans’ roster. (The Journal/Jeff Mitchell)

“Our soccer team won a total of six games over the last three or four years, so to improve from that far away just shows it’s only a matter of how bad you want it,” he said.

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