WELLMAN — A season-ending loss is never a good feeling, but there are times when it can be a good thing.
The Mid-Prairie High School baseball season ended at the state tournament. While the Golden Hawks lost their opener at state, getting to play at Principal Park in Des Moines is quite an accomplishment.
The man who led them, Mid-Prairie head coach Andy Greiner, there was recognized by the River Valley Conference as the South Division Coach of the Year.
The Golden Hawks added another accomplishment when they claimed the River Valley Conference title as co-champions with Camanche, which won the North Division, but were outright champions of the South Division.
Individual accomplishments abound, attributed to the success of the Golden Hawks.
Four Golden Hawks were named first team all-district with Brad Tornow (pitcher), Aidan Rath (infield), Vinnie Bowlin (catcher) and Keegan Gingerich (utility).
Three Golden Hawks were named to the Elite Team of the River Valley Conference in Tornow (pitcher), Rath (infield) and Monte Slabaugh as an outfielder.
The South Division First Team also had Golden Hawks at catcher in Bowlin, Gingerich as a pitcher, Karson Grout as an infielder, Chris Miller as an outfielder and Kayden Reinier as an utility. Outfielder Will Cavanagh received honorable mention.
For Greiner to receive the award was special. He had won an Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2007 when the Golden Hawks last made the state tournament. He had never been named conference coach of year.
“It’s a reflection on our ability to work well as a staff,” Greiner said.
Other coaches on the staff are Kyle Mullet, who is the head junior varsity coach and in charge of catchers, Chris Robertson, who works with the outfielders, Jay Strickland, who is the junior varsity assistant and pitching coach, and Josh Moore, who is the head coach of the freshmen and sophomore team.
A team working together is always more successful. A staff that works in concert always makes for stronger decisions.
“Our coaches are free to share opinions,” Greiner said. “It is a collaboration.”
This was Greiner’s sixth year at the helm of the Golden Hawks program. Mid-Prairie finished the season with a record of 15-4. Greiner’s overall record as the head coach is 88-81.