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Farmers' Harvest

The school news site of Lewisville High School

Farmers' Harvest

The school news site of Lewisville High School

Farmers' Harvest

Accepting the challenge

Varsity baseball motivated to exceed expectations
Ruben Plascencia
Shortstop Jacob Gallegos dives to touch first base and avoids being out in a game against The Colony on Friday, Feb. 23. The Farmers beat the Cougars 6-5, with Gallegos running in the walk-off hit.

Locked into a district with state champion Flower Mound, among other contenders like Coppell and Hebron, the varsity baseball team embraces the role as the underdog. 

“It’s the best feeling knowing that people are looking at you and thinking you’re going to lose, and then going out there trying to prove them wrong,” senior pitcher Brandon Bonehill said. “That’s definitely one of our key motivations.”

As of the afternoon of Feb. 29, the Farmers are 3-4 and coming off an 11-1 win over Grand Prairie. The team will be on the road through next week and start district play on March 13 at Plano East. 

“We like playing in our district,” head coach Stephen Campbell said. “Our guys are tough, and they don’t back down to whoever we’re playing. That’s kind of what we know, it’s tradition. We try to be tougher than anybody.”

On the diamond, the Farmers’ strength is their defense, led by junior shortstop and team captain Jacob Gallegos. Sophomore left fielder, Donovan Smith, has made an impact offensively, getting consistent hits or stealing bases to generate offense. More hits and accurate pitching are Campbell’s focus, with the coach praising Bonehill’s early performance “throwing a ton of strikes for us.” 

“We’ve got to be really good on the mound,” Campbell said. “Our guys have started the year off throwing a bunch [of strikes], so we’re off to a decent start. We’ve got to put the ball in play way more often. I love our defense, so if we do those things we’ll get where we want to go.”

The team expects to fight for a playoff spot after narrowly missing the postseason last year. In the end, a 1-0 extra innings loss to Coppell is what held the team from its first postseason appearance since 2017. 

“We missed the playoffs by one run,” Campbell said. “We would have been in and probably won a couple of rounds because our district is so tough.”

Adding to the challenge this season is the team’s youth: after a large graduating class, the roster features three seniors and 14 underclassmen, mainly juniors. The 2023 team’s potential, however, has remained with its 15-14 record already a tremendous improvement over previous seasons. 

“It taught us that we can make it,” Gallegos said. “We lost a lot of seniors last year, so we’ve got lots of kids from JV coming up. It’s going to be hard, but we’ve got a chance to compete with higher ranked teams and get back to the playoffs.”

Off the field, the team has focused on building connections with each other and hopes to work as one cohesive unit on game days. 

“I think a lot of what affected us last year was our mentality,” Bonehill said. “We were all separated in our own little groups. This year we’ve got a lot of good team bonding going. We’re all working together as one and it feels pretty good.”

The team will play a Friday doubleheader against Mansfield Timberview and Irving Nimitz at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. respectively, hosted by the latter. It’ll finish the week with a third game against The Colony, with the series tied at 1-1.

“It’s going to be a long season,” Gallegos said. “Our defense and pitching is pretty good, [but] we definitely have to start hitting more. We’re going to have to put our head down and work, build that team chemistry and hope for the best.”

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