Nicolet baseball coach Jason Grodsky takes a glass half-full approach to his team's 9-21 record this season.
'We were just so young and inexperienced at the beginning of the season,' he said. 'We took time to figure out how to be a winning team. I think going in, we had about 10 percent of our pitching back and about 25 percent of our defense, but the guys were willing to work. So the fact that we were able to come back and post a similar record (7-19) to a team last year that was far more experienced was pretty impressive.'
The Knights season finished up their season recently with a 10-6 loss to Kewaskum in a WIAA regional semifinal contest.
In that game, Nicolet rallied from an early deficit to make the game close. Grodsky said the effort epitomized the effort the team showed in the last half of the season.
'We really battled the last 10 games or so,' he said. 'We could have won any of those games.'
In that closing run were good North Shore Conference wins over Port Washington and Homestead and a fun nonconference victory over Mukwonago.
'When we went down, we went down fighting,' he said. 'The kids finally saw that they could be in games. They finally began to understand how to get a lead and how to keep it.'
The team was led by second-team All-North Shore Conference outfielder selection Daniel Schiff, who also helped out on the mound. Senior Adam Plotkin was a leader on the mound, and Jack Hansen did some nice work at multiple positions.
Junior Brayden Elliott at catcher, junior Ben Babisch at first base, Plotkin at utility and senior Aaron Trattner on the infield all earned honorable mention all-conference honors.
Seniors included Trattner, Plotkin, Elan Berman, Jordan Wolfmeyer, Max Walker and Nico Aguilar.
There is hope for the future with a number of returnees, a junior varsity that was around .500 and a freshmen group that posted a strong winning record.
'We struggled a little bit to begin with,' Grodsky said, 'but the upside was, was that we were finally able to win a big game or two (at the end).'