Coaching milestone not the only accomplishment U-High baseball is chasing in 2024

U-High Baseball Head Coach Steve Paxson. (Photo courtesy of WMBD-TV)


NORMAL – Coach Steve Paxson will always remember the 2024 season for reaching a hallowed milestone, his 500th career win.

Paxson said, “It’s been a good thing because I’ve been able to connect with a lot of guys I’ve coached over the years and that’s been really fun. But I’m sure excited to get focused on our team and not myself.”

The Pioneers are certainly locked in. They’re already racking up wins over Washington, Metamora, and handing undefeated East Peoria their first loss of the season.

“We had a really young squad last year. We started 6 freshman and sophomores on most games last year. This year we’re a year later and acting like it finally,” said Paxson.

U-High Senior Charlie Vercruysse elaborated, “Some of our guys were first year varsity guys last year and now it’s like their second year around and we’re more used to the level.”

Even on days where the weather forces them indoors, the players still get after it in practice.

“They’re excited to get back to the winning ways of u-high baseball and they’ve kind of bought in to everything we’re trying to do this year,” said Paxson.

Vercruysse added, “Plus I think we’re all really close, enjoy being around each other. And we just have a lot of fun which is a good thing. We love to compete, each and every one of us. I think every year we’ve had the talent. We’ve had good program, good guys, but we haven’t executed in the postseason.”

“I believe we’ve got as good a roster as anybody this year. We believe we can compete with anyone,” concluded Paxson.

WMBD-TV can be reached at [email protected].


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