Bulldogs look to make some noise

Crestview baseball

Seth Thomason delivers a hit for the Crestview baseball team during the Justin Richards Memorial Scholarship Baseball Tournament last summer.

FILE PHOTO/News Bulletin
Published: Friday, February 15, 2013 at 11:40 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Any baseball coach will agree that you build a team with your defense in the middle of the diamond.

Bulldog coach Tim Gillis has one less thing to worry about with three-year starters Dakota Dean at shortstop and Tyler Henderson in centerfield anchoring Crestview's defense.

“It’s kind of a Catch 22,” Gillis said. “I’m really happy with this year, but when you look too far into the future, you don’t like that as much. They’ve been great in multiple sports (baseball and football) for multiple years.

"They are looked upon as leaders by their teammates and basically as they go, we will go. They set a high standard and it gives everybody something to shoot for in what they’ve done and what they’ve accomplished. And I think they are going to be fine all year."

Dean and Henderson aren’t the only veterans solidifying the middle of the diamond for Crestview.

Catcher Austin Armstrong is a two-year starter back for his junior season. Hunter Willis, a returning Jack-Of-All-Trades, will start the season at second base and will fill in for Armstrong behind the plate.

“He’s (Armstrong) done a real good job of handling pitchers over the last couple of years and we are expecting a big year out of him,” Gillis said. “Hunter Willis will be the backup there and he filled in there very admirably when Austin had his appendectomy right there toward the end of the year.

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