Weismandel named Warrior baseball coach

By on September 5, 2019

 

 

Bill Weismandel has had plenty of reasons to celebrate since the beginning of August.

First, the Lititz Oddfellows took home the LNP Midget Tournament championship with a 9-7 win over Manheim Township at Clipper Stadium.

That marked his fourth LNP title in eight years as the Oddfellows’ head coach.

Then on Tuesday night, at Warwick’s school board meeting, Weismandel was approved as the Warriors’ new head baseball coach, replacing Bob Locker, who stepped down in June.

“I’m extremely excited,” Weismandel said. “I can’t wait to get started working with the kids.”

Quite frankly, there won’t be much need for introductions between Weismandel and the players.

Many of those expected to be on the 2020 roster have been playing for the Oddfellows. For any who didn’t, Weismandel has also been involved in the Warriors’ program for the past four years &tstr; two as a junior varsity assistant and two as a varsity assistant under Locker.

So his knowledge of the players is a strength.

“My understanding of the program, my understanding of the players and families, just having all that experience and knowledge, as well as going back to all the youth programs that I’ve been involved with since my kids were playing Little League, it’s just such a good fit in terms of just sorta having that inside knowledge of where Warwick baseball is at,” Weismandel said.

This past spring, the Warriors finished 14-8 overall, advancing to the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff semi-finals and then to the District Three 5A quarterfinals.

Nine players graduated from that squad, including First-Team All-Stars Colby Martin (.340, 3 HRs, 16 RBI) and Josh Farina (.423, 13 RBI, 9 runs), and Second-Team All-Stars Brendan Martin (.317, 17 runs), Ethan Heller (.338, 10 RBI), Dagen Young (3-1, 0.70 ERA) and Jeffrey Kline (.328, 10 runs, 9 RBI).

Those players will leave big shoes to fill, but Millersville University-commit John Seibert (.367, 13 RBI), pitcher Jackson Davies (4-1, 0.73 ERA), Zach Shertzer, Evan Rohrbach, and others lead a solid returning corps of players.

“A great group of outstanding players and even better kids,” Weismandel said. “It’s so cliché, but we’ve just been so lucky at Warwick in that class after class after class, we just have great kids, and when you have that and they buy in, you can do so many great things from a competitive standpoint.”

Through his years of coaching, Weismandel has been a student of the game. Admittedly, he has learned a lot, not only from Warwick’s coaches, but also from opponents’ coaches. All the while, Weismandel has tried to mesh his style with what he has picked up from observing others.

Coach Bill Weismandel talks strategy with Lititz Oddfellows’ shortstop Evan Rohrbach during the LNP Midget Tournament this summer.

“Number one, I’ve really learned how to connect with the players and understand that they have a voice,” Weismandel said, “and that we’re partners in everything we do. The coaches and players each have their roles and we have to fill them, and the kids have certainly helped me learn that over the last few years, especially with the older kids.”

If you’re looking for what kind of style Weismandel likes his team to play, it was evident in the LNP Midget Tournament this August, when the Oddfellows attempted 10 stolen bases in three games, swiping four of those.

“What we preach from day one is will be an aggressive, smart, fundamentally-sound baseball team,” Weismandel said. “But everything starts with being aggressive. We understand at times we will make some mistakes because it’s a fine line between being very aggressive and getting reckless. But our kids have learned over the last few years that as long as we, from a team standpoint, can be aggressive, we can afford to make some mistakes at times in games.”

Going from the summer season to the high school season is a “slightly different animal,” as Weismandel knows. The playoff format is a bit different. Not all kids playing spring ball also compete in the summer.

But Weismandel is confident in the approach which has been taken in the Oddfellows’ success. He has a knowledge of L-L teams, along with their coaches and programs. And he will work hard to have his players focus on the things they can control.

“I’m ready for the challenge,” Weismandel said. “I don’t feel like I’m going to be walking into a situation where I’m going to be a little unsure of what to expect. I have a pretty good feel for our opponents, so it’s really going to feel like hitting the ground running.”

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One Comment

  1. Randy

    September 5, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    It’s about time Warwick got a baseball man to coach the high school baseball team.

    Nobody knows the game better.

    Bill Weismandel will be the best baseball coach Warwick has ever had.

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