By Amanda Perkins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
The Cabool Bulldogs have a new baseball coach, but he’s a familiar face to many of the players. Robbie Mossman has served as the middle school head baseball coach for the past two years at Cabool after stints as both an assistant and head coach in other Missouri high schools, 5A and under.
During his time at Cabool Middle School, Mossman said the team’s focus was on “becoming students of the game, being intentional of learning key aspects to all parts of the game, as well as being well-rounded and learning as many positions as possible.” Additionally, he said he has a passion for changing the culture and developing quality young men.
Now, Coach Mossman will attempt to lead his new team to the Bulldogs’ first winning season since 2012.
Dylan Hardy was a key factor in helping the team to 8 wins last season before they dropped to Mtn. Grove in the second round of districts, and the all-district and all-conference catcher is now playing at Missouri Valley.
“I am looking forward to an upperclassman stepping up and playing a key leadership role in being our catcher for this year,” said Mossman.
While the team will have a new catcher, their pitching staff will return. Senior Dalton Carder is an all-district and all-conference pitcher, versatile, and a key hitter who will drive runs from the left side. “Dalton is a very dedicated athlete that has a great passion for the game…he has the rare ability to play any position on the field well,” said Coach Mossman.
Senior Jordan Primanzon will also have an important role, either at shortstop or as catcher, and will be on the mound, possibly in relief. His ability to hit for both average and power will make him an asset.
Chayton Reese, senior, served as starting pitcher last season and will reprise his role. “I also look forward to him being a tough out at the plate, as well as to make the rest of our infielders look good by playing a solid first base,” said his coach.
Junior Austin Hunter enters his third year on varsity and will play third base and help on the mound. He is expected to be a team leader. Fellow junior Kaleb Sigman is athletic and could make an impact in the outfield, at the plate, or at first base. Trent Noirfalise, junior, had positive momentum in the summer at the plate and could build off that this spring.
Sophomores Zach Beller and Hunter Sparks are also returning lettermen. Beller will be expected to “step up this year from a variety of infield and outfield positions,” according to Coach Mossman. “He has the ability to throw a lot of strikes on the mound as well as create havoc on the basepaths. I look forward to seeing him reach his potential as well as have a healthy season.” Sparks made positive progress in the summer. He can play middle infield, throw strikes, and should be consistent on defense and offense.
Juniors Spencer Christeson and Dalton Phillips are newcomers, and Christeson will join the pitching staff as a southpaw.
Tyler Parsons, sophomore, is coming out for the first year. “He has been a regular on the football field and we are excited to see what he can do for us,” said Coach Mossman.
A heap of freshmen will also join the ranks. Trevor Atkins is “a great competitor that has a passion for winning,” said his coach. Dakota Overby is another athlete coming over from football. The lefty is quick and has a strong arm. Cole Reese has game experience, having played first base in middle school. Kaevin Jackson loves baseball, per Coach Mossman, and specifically loves being a catcher. Logan Primanzon is a versatile and athletic addition, and Payton Byerley is also adaptable and a strong leader. Quincy Flanagan has a high baseball IQ, can throw strikes, and plays second base. Jacob Doucette is “one of those kids you love to have around,” said Mossman. “He had a great attitude and will gladly accept whatever role he is given.” Eli Garner and Zakary Rawlings round out the freshman crew.
Coach Mossman said he is excited about the numbers coming out this year, as the Bulldogs should be able to field both varsity and junior varsity teams, “which is vital to our overall program’s long-term success.”
“The thing I am most looking forward to is working with young men that truly have a passion for playing baseball,” said Coach Mossman. “These kids know that they are going to have to sacrifice their time with the understanding that hard work and self-discipline are going to eventually pay off.”
“There are a lot of unknowns for the players and coaches, but we are all going to be on the same page with the intent of being the best baseball program that we can be.”
The Bulldogs host Gainesville for their home opener March 16.