East Penn Press

Saturday, July 4, 2020
PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBWyatt Henseler was one of a dozen seniors on an Emmaus baseball team that had high expectations for the 2020 season. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBWyatt Henseler was one of a dozen seniors on an Emmaus baseball team that had high expectations for the 2020 season. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_

EHS baseball had big plans for season

Thursday, April 16, 2020 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

The 2019 version of the Emmaus High School baseball team reached the semifinals of the EPC playoffs and then went so far as to reach the finals in the District 11 playoffs, falling to Liberty 3-1 at DeSales University. In states, Emmaus was eliminated by Central Bucks South in the quarterfinals.

Even though 12 seniors graduated from that team, this year’s Hornets still would have had 13 seniors and plenty of experience to make a run at least similar to last season and possibly even deeper into states with either a conference or district title to their credit.

Jeremy Haas, who was coming into his second season as the team’s head coach, had his team’s practice schedule shut down in mid-March and was dreading the potential news that the spring season wouldn’t be played. Last week, he received a short text that told him all he needed to know.

“Our team’s strength and conditioning coach texted me,” said Haas. “He simply said, ‘I feel so bad for those kids.’ After that, I didn’t need to hear anything else to know what had happened.”

One of the key seniors that would have played an important role for the Hornets is Wyatt Henseler. Last season, Henseler was one of the team’s leaders as a junior, hitting .321 and leading the team in both home runs (3) and RBI (21). Haas had a brief text conversation with Henseler but admits that he had nothing to really share with him or other players about the loss of their senior season.

“There is nothing to say. Nothing I say will make things better,” said Haas. “I am hopeful that we will be able to get together someday soon.”

This year’s group of seniors was what Haas considers to be a special group that made him especially optimistic.

“These 13 guys will never have a senior baseball season,” said Haas. “They have shown the program what it means to lead and through thick and thin they grew as a collective unit. They are a special group of personalities, very athletic, intelligent, hard-working, passionate and fun-loving.

“Above all else, they were a caring group that cared about the process of being great baseball players. There is no doubt in my mind that they would have led us to a special season and that is because they were a special group. They have made me a better coach and they can leave Emmaus baseball with their heads held high knowing they did things the right way.”

Beyond speculating how the season would have turned out, Haas pointed out that there are concerns that go further than missing their final high school season. For underclassmen, the lost season could have other implications.

“Not having a season will affect all our guys trying to play at the next level [college],” said Haas. “We have juniors and sophomores who needed to have strong seasons to build off of for recruiting. Every single guy in our program needed this season to get better. We will have a lot of catching up to do whenever we get back to baseball.”