Ozark Thriving Behind Young Roster

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OZARK (KFSM)- It was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Ozark as they have just two seniors on the roster but the Hillbillies aren’t seeing it that way. Ozark has won six of their first seven conference games and are ready to keep the momentum going.

"We only had three players coming back with any varsity experience," said Ozark Coach Brett Stone."We had a lot of talent ,you just don’t know how that is going to be when you are playing a bunch of guys who don’t have any varsity experience."

 Eddie Graham is one of those young players who has stepped up in a big way. The sophomore is leading the Hillbillies with a .422 batting average.

"Since there were only two seniors," said Graham. "We knew as younger kids in class that we had to step up, and basically that’s what we have done. Dakota does good at leading but some of us younger kids had to step up and do as a senior would do."

Stone is in his first season as head coach and is relying on pitcher Dakota Cowens to be a leader for the team. The senior is guiding his younger teammates both on and off the field.

"All of our guys look up to him," said Stone."On how we are supposed to do things and how we are supposed to carry ourselves."

Cowens makes sure to help keep the players in line in practice and in games.

"Sometimes when they are goofing off or it’s a long hot day and they kind don’t want to do anything I kind of push them," said Cowens. "Straighten up and strive to get better."

Knowing that their youthful roster won’t be an issue, the Hillbillies are setting their goals even higher.

"I was worried," said Cowen. "But now this is my last year so I’m trying to give it my all and everybody else is, even though it’s not their last year they try to give it their all and help me out."

 Ozark will play at Paris Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.