Veteran Coach Dale Harpenau Taking On New Challenge

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) - Southside Baseball is just ten games into their schedule and already first-year Head Coach Dale Harpenau has made a strong impression on his team.

"He's been my best coach that I have had for baseball," said Senior Cooper Johnson. " He's really teaching us a lot about fundamentals and the game. When he came in we all new how well he was going to do since he had been so successful at the upper level so we were just ready for him to come in and tell us what he knows about the game and help us out."

Though this is Harpenau's first time as Head Coach of a high school baseball team, he brings more than enough experience to the table. Harpenau has over 20-years experience as a college baseball head coach, winning over 800-games. Now he is transitioning into high school ball for a new coaching challenge.

"When it comes to the baseball side of it it's still just teaching," said Dale Harpenau on the transition from college to high school coaching.  "At the high school level there's actually more coaching involved with it, there's more things that they don't know don't understand. So you really get to see kids process really become much better players over time."

Harpenau has already made history as the Rebels head coach this season, Southside hasn't beaten Fayetteville in conference play since 2009 and earlier this week they swept them in a two game-series and he plans to help them reach more milestones.

"In the 7A-West [there are] very competitive teams," said Harpenau on the upcoming schedule. "We lost a lot of players from a year ago so it's been a little bit of a transition for these players also so it's an exciting challenge."

The Rebels will play Lee's Summit West  in Missouri March 24th at 1:00 p.m.

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