The Winters High School varsity baseball club opened its season on Thursday, March 2 against the River City High School Raiders.
The visitors took an early 2–0 lead in the first inning, but the Warrior defense never allowed the possibility of winning to ever get out of reach. Although the squad rattled off five hits for the game, they couldn’t translate them into runs and lost 6–0.
The next day on Friday, March 3, the Warriors played a makeup game against an old-time rival, Wheatland Union High School. The Pirates came out swinging, scoring runs in the first and third innings. While the Wheatland club probably thought it was going home with a win, the fourth inning came around along with the Warriors’ bats.
Winters scored two runs in the fourth and fifth innings to give them a 4–2 lead. Wheatland managed to score another run in the sixth inning, but the one-eyed, hook-handed opponents ran into the brick wall known as the Warrior defense in the seventh and would lose to Winters 4–3.
“I approached the first game as being a good tell of our team’s capabilities. Sure, we lost, but it was good just to get out there because it allowed our guys to take what we’ve been working on since December and put it into practice. It was also a good wakeup call for them, too, because we’ve been working hard at practice, but that’s only measuring against yourself and not another team, so it was good to get out there and get that experience,” said the head coach Austin Calvert. “The game against Wheatland was great because we showed a glimpse at what our identity could be this year, and that’s something I’ve been talking to the guys about a lot. I told them, ‘Your identity as a team is set after your first two weeks of games. Because in that time you’re going to go through trials and tribulations, be down, come from behind and be in white-knuckle games. What you do in those first two weeks is exactly what decides the team you’ll be in the rest of the year. So, do you go down early and give up, or do you fight and come back?’ And something clicked in the Wheatland game. We started having quality at-bats, the dugout had energy and it was awesome and encouraging to get that win.”