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Honkers enter Region 4B east tournament as top seeds

Honkers top seeded as Region 4B baseball begins
May 16, 2017

By Rich Winter

When now seniors Riley Hoffman, Seth Kirsch and Jarod Severson were just freshman, they immediately saw at least some playing for their Honker high school team comprised of youth from Platte/Geddes/Dakota Christian/White Lake/Corsica-Stickney. It was baptism by fire and the Honkers took their lumps.


By their sophomore year, they were starting and each year since then, the group, and their team around them has gotten better.


As the Region 4B west tournament's first pitch is thrown out today with Todd County playing Chamberlain in a playoff game, the Honkers have home field advantage all the way through what coach Jeff Kuiper hopes will be a long run. 


"I am feeling pretty good right now, but I am not going to overlook anything," Kuiper told the Mitchell Daily Republic. "It is a long road to go."


It has been a magical season for the Honkers who enter the Region 4B east tournament as top seeds with an 11-1 record. Some big wins during the season including wins over defending state champion, and a 3-0 decision over perennial power St. Thomas More on Sunday. 


While taking nothing for granted, Kuiper feels like the regular season has his kids ready for a run.


It’s a confidence booster, (beating those other teams) because they’ve knocked us out before," Kuiper said. "Our kids won't be tentative and they know what to do."


When asked what the difference has been this year, Kuiper says, "I think it's a toal team effort, not one individual, but all nine guys." 


The Honkers have an outstanding leftie in sophomore, Blake Moke. Senior, right-hander Riley Hoffman gives what the 'common fan' will call a great one-two punch.


Kuiper kinda bristles at the intimation that's all he's got in the pitching department. 


"Even with all our games Riley had three starts and Moke had just two," Kuiper said. "We have a lot of guys that have pitched, Monen, Chase Pfiefer and Cole Knox (Might have some of these names wrong, apologize if I do), we feel like we have some solid, solid guys."  


With the mantra of team behind them, Kuiper points to an offense with six guys, three that are seniors that are really hitting the ball well heading into this tournament. 


The Honkers are the No. 1 seed and will play the winner of the No. 5 Chamberlain vs. No. 4 Todd County game at 8 p.m. Chamberlain and Todd County play at 6 p.m.

In Winner, No. 3 Gregory will play No. 2 Winner/Colome at 4 p.m. today The winners of today's games will play in the region title game on Monday. If the Honkers win, they will host the division title games and the region championship.










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