2014-07-03 / Sports

Lakers dominate diamonds, Dream Team

By Mike Spencer
Of The Enterprise staff

GLEN LAKE batterymates Trevor Apsey, left, and Thomas Waning, both three-peat Dream Teamers, discuss the situation on the mound in the Division 4 3-2 pre-district win over rival Suttons Bay played at Glen Lake. GLEN LAKE batterymates Trevor Apsey, left, and Thomas Waning, both three-peat Dream Teamers, discuss the situation on the mound in the Division 4 3-2 pre-district win over rival Suttons Bay played at Glen Lake. Glen Lake’s baseball team was a dominant force in Leelanau County and a team to be reckoned with around the state for the second straight season.

Five of its players were named to the Enterprise Dream Team announced today. Two of them are the first threepeaters to the elite team, which is chosen by Northern Sports Officials Association members and Enterprise staffers. All players must be nominated by their respective coaches.

Senior pitcher Thomas Waning and his batterymate Trevor Apsey were key contributors for three seasons at Glen Lake and were named to the Dream Team in 2012 and 2013.

Suttons Bay seniors Aaron Orban, pitcher/first baseman, and Logan Mikesell, pitcher/infielder were also three-peaters.

“Trevor and Thomas are two of the best players we’ve ever had here, and are both very analytical and serious,” Glen Lake coach Kris Herman said. “They are very deserving of this, and the fact that they’ve done it three times is a testament to them.

“They have set the standard for what we want a Glen Lake baseball player to be.”

Apsey led the Northwest Conference in batting in two of the past three seasons. He led the county this season, hitting .511 overall. He also had 40 RBI.

He finished his career at Glen Lake as a .433 hitter.

Waning set the standard for career wins (33) and strikeouts (401) and set the single-season marks for strikeouts (176) and ERA (0.66).

This season he also hit .372 for Glen Lake, which finished the season in the Division 4 state semifinals for the second straight year.

Mikesell and Orban also finished off three good years. Mikesell hit ..423 and was 9-1 on the mound with a 2.22 ERA. Orban hit .356 with a team-best 21 RBI for the Northwest runner-ups.

“I say this as a sign of respect, but ... I’m glad they are gone,” Herman said. “Those two have given us fits over the years.

“They are gutty, great ballplayers, and in all seriousness, I’m going to miss seeing them on a baseball field. They do it the right way.”

Suttons Bay coach Doug Periard also had nothing but praise for his kids — and Apsey and Waning.

“It was always good to see good baseball and Trevor and Thomas were great competition,” Periard said. “As a catcher, Trevor could hold the mask in his hand and throw it hard to second base.

“He had a gun.”

Orban and Mikesell didn’t set any new school records, but Mikesell came close to a couple marks this spring in their weather-shortened season.

“They were good career players and they were leaders on a very young team,” Periard said.

Mikesell was two victories short of the single-season win mark and five bases shy of the stolen base record.

“Coming up early and playing some as freshman really pays off for a coach down the road,” Periard said. “Aaron and Logan had a certain amount of maturity and leadership from watching their brothers play.

“They were great kids and fun-loving competitors. They played their best and hard and they did it with a smile.”

Periard said both Mikesell and Orban worked pitchers deep into the count and rarely struck out.

“Logan had a great season. He wasn’t the typical strikeout pitcher, but he was a force on the mound,” Periard noted.

Orban didn’t pitch as much this season, but he was a big part of the Suttons Bay defender.

“He made everybody look better because he caught everything thrown his way,” Periard said.

Glen Lake junior Austin Odziana and Leland senior John VanRaalte, who played for the St. Mary co-op team, were also repeaters on the Dream Team.

In addition, St. Mary senior Colin Platts, Glen Lake sophomore Zach Cooper and Glen Lake senior Tristan Williams also were part of the nine-member squad.

Odziana, who led the NW in batting as a sophomore, hit .411 this season and drove in 36 runs.

“Austin has made it very clear to everyone that he is one of the best first basemen in the state, both offensively and defensively,” Herman said. “He takes a great approach to the overall game, never getting too high or too low about anything, just staying steady and refusing to let the game beat him.

“That approach, along with his talent, is what makes him a great baseball player.”

VanRaalte, who played third base and pitched, was also a leader for the Eagles.

“John led us in most offensive categories and only struck out two times all season,” St. Mary coach Steve Plamondon said.

Platts, an infielder and pitcher, started every game since his freshman year.

He also led the staff in both wins and innings pitched this spring.

“He will be greatly missed,” Plamondon said.

Cooper went 13-0 this season on the mound with a 0.83 ERA as the No. 2 guy on staff.

“If you can be underrated as a 13-0 pitcher with a sub. 1.00 ERA, then Zach is,” Herman said. “He carries himself well on the mound and in every aspect of the game.

“He’s off to a great start in his career and has a great future ahead of him.”

Williams hit. .476 in the leadoff spot and handled the shortstop duties.

“Tristan has worked hard to make himself into a great shortstop and an outstanding hitter,” Herman said. “It’s going to be very difficult to replace the energy that he provided for our team.”

Glen Lake finished 32-3-1 this season, before bowing to eventual state champ New Lothrop, 3-1 in the semis.

Herman said much of the team’s success started with Dream Teamers Waning, Apsey, Odziana, Williams and Cooper.

“Having these veteran players on your team makes it more fun to be a coach because you can get into more advanced aspects of the game,” Herman said. “These guys really allow you to go to areas of the playbook that you don’t always get to go to.”

And while most the Glen Lake quintet received all-conference, all-district, all-region and some all-state recognition, Herman said being on a Dream Team is also special.

“This is a great honor for all of the guys who have made it on to the Dream Team, and even a great honor for those who are nominated,” he said. “It’s an outstanding representation of how good Leelanau County baseball can be.”

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