"One thing I learned was that we can never give up, and we proved that by making it to super-sectionals. We showed that we have to keep working hard to make it back there next year,"
We're about to find out exactly what last year's run to the super-sectional will do for the Raiders in 2013. With only a handful of players lost to graduation, nearly all of that deep playoff experience returns, giving QND a boost in chemistry long before its first inning.
"You know who you're working with, you know the voices of your teammates and what they've got in their skill set,"
"I think we just have to work as a team, nobody try to be selfish. If we work as a team, we should be able to succeed pretty easily,"
Its difficult to pick out where this team may be lacking this season, because its strengths are three-fold.
"I think on the mound, we have 4, 5 or 6 arms that can start on any given day and give us good innings. I think we're going to get some guys that can go in and eat some innings, throw some quality pitches for us and get us outs,"
And you can't forget about the offense and that sweet swing of Dominic Miles, with some added protection.
"Dom's Dom, he's not going to sneak up on anybody, he hasn't for the last couple years, so he's obviously a leader for us,"
"We're going to be confident in our bats. We've got Polak who is an absolute stud freshman, we've got Vahle coming back who's another freak, and Lucey. We're going to have good bats this year, and Dominic Miles, obviously,"
Looking back a season, QND had an ability to play error-free baseball, which may help pave a path to Joliet more than anything else.
"I think our strength is always going to be built around our defense, we work so hard on it. We don't worry about picking up the bats until we're able to control the ball and handle the ball the way that we know we can,"
"I have 100% confidence in everybody out there, that they'll try their best and not cheat us,"
The road will be a little different this year, after bumping up to Class 3A, but after last year, QND knows where the finish line is, and the Raiders are off and running here in March.
"Its an interesting dynamic right now, but the guys seem to be getting along, they're doing things properly, I think we're making gains every day and that's what you want to see from a team with so much experience,"
"We work every day, we work hard, we come out to practice focused. We come with the same mentality that we had last year. We're going to win on our defense and the bats will come, and we're going to do our job every game and try to get that W,"