PALMYRA, Mo. -- There's quite a few changes to Palmyra's baseball program this season.
Longtime head coach Mark Loman retired at the end of the 2022 season after 303 wins in 20 years.
Former Quincy High School head coach Brandon Crisp took over the Panthers baseball program last summer.
"It's been a good transition," Crisp said. "I'm really excited to get into it. We are pretty inexperienced and we are young, but we have a lot of kids that work really hard and it seems like they enjoy baseball. They come out and work hard, and that's all I can ask for."
Palmyra rallied back from a slow start in 2022 to finish 12-11-1 record and to win its third straight district title.
The Panthers graduated several key contributors last year such as catcher Alex Loman, shortstop/outfielder Landyn Smith, third baseman/pitcher Adam Goodwin, first baseman/pitcher Nolyn Richards, pitcher Hunter Wilson and infielder Alex Wilson.
So, it will be a much different Palmyra team this season.
"Every position is up for grabs," Crisp said. "I tell these guys that they are competing for a position every day because quite honestly we've got a lot of young talent and guys who have came in and worked hard. They deserve an opportunity to play just as much as anybody else."
Palmyra junior right-hander Ethan Tallman emerged as the Panthers ace on the mound late last season, getting key starts down the stretch and in the postseason.
The Panthers will also turn to Colby Cook, Andrew Comer and Gavin Greving to pitch this season.
"We got some guys who got to finish out the rough spots, but I think at the end of the day they will be pretty good on the mound for us," Crisp said.
Catcher is a position in transition with the graduation of Alex Loman.
Palmyra will look to junior Josh Hathaway, as well as freshmen Rylan Compton and Raeson Miller as options behind the plate.
"Right now we are kind up in the air," Crisp said. "We are trying to figure out what our best lineup is right now."
The Panthers return junior Rayce Ragar, who emerged as the starting second baseman last year and figures to be a big part of the infield mix this season.
Other players who will be part of the infield mix include Cook, Greving, Zeke Meyers, Clayton Deming, Comer and Tallman.
Jon Lundberg was a starting outfielder last season and just one of three seniors on this year's team.
Junior Cameron Ragar is another option in the outfield, with several underclassmen competing for spots in the grass.
Crisp plans on giving everyone a chance and may have different lineup day-to-day earlier in the season.
"I think by the end of the year, I'll like it," Crisp said. "With youth and inexperience, you are going to have ups and downs, so we can't really focus on either one of those. We just got to make sure we are focusing on the end result."
With most practices being held indoors due to poor weather, Tuesday's jamboree in Hannibal was one of the first chances for Crisp and the coaching staff to evaluate talent.
It also gave Palmyra players an opportunity to practice game situations, base running and defense.
"I thought we were pretty good (on defense in the jamboree)," Crisp said. "We botched a few things, but I think that we are goign to be able to work with that. (Defense) might be one of our better aspects early in the year."
March 18 -- at Southern Boone Cluster
March 21 -- Elsberry
March 23 -- Canton
March 28 -- at Quincy Notre Dame
March 30 -- at Quincy High
April 3 -- Bowling Green
April 4 -- Macon
April 8 -- at Moberly
April 10 -- Mendon Unity
April 11 -- at Clark County
April 13 -- Monroe City
April 15 -- at Moberly
April 17 -- at Hallsville
April 18 -- Highland
April 21 -- Brookfield
April 27 -- Centralia
April 28 -- at Hannibal
April 29 -- at South Callaway Cluster
May 1 -- at Liberty
May 4 -- at South Shelby
May 5 -- Palmyra Cluster
May 6 -- Palmyra Cluster
May 10 -- at Kirksville
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.