Play Ball! GHS Baseball Season Kicks Off with High Hopes and Excitement


Freshman Mason Smith ‘26 stares down his opponent after an intense inning.“ I love catching because it provides a challenge that is super unique and interesting. I still love to hit home-runs a lot more, though.” Smith is excited to play more competition this year, where he hopes he can be a big contribution to the Pirates.

The Galena High School baseball team is setting their expectations high this year as they begin their regular season practices. The team is full of experienced seniors and new freshmen that bring in their new talents.

The boys fell short of their goals last year when they lost to the Lena-Winslow Panthers in the Regional Finals as the Panthers walked it off with a hit by pitch. After losing the team’s ace, Ethan Hefel, this year the Pirates are looking to fill that spot with Junior Joey Heller.

Last year Heller had an ERA (Earned Run Average) of 4.15. With the help of his nasty curveball that led to many hitters ducking for cover as it curved into the strike zone. “He’s got some great stuff,” said catcher John Wubben ‘23. “He’s a different pitcher than Hefel was and his arsenal is pretty deadly.”
Wubben is looking to be the next Mike Trout as he is projected to lead the team in slugging. Last year Wubben only tallied one homerun but made up with that by leading the team in triples with 5, and tallying 4 doubles.

He isn’t only an offensive weapon as he puts up great defensive numbers as well. As Wubben was able to pick off nearly every player that tried to steal a base while he was behind the plate. He also lead the team with a .990 fielding percentage making him nearly perfect with blocking and framing strikes.

With the help of Ryan Stoffregen ‘23, Parker Studtman ‘25, and Zach Heller ‘25, no ground ball will make it out of the infield. This defensive trio can be seen diving for every ball that is hit their way, making it very difficult to get on base against this Pirates team.

With the help of this year’s freshman, the Pirates won’t see themselves scrambling to find pitchers during those back to back weeks.

Drew Koenigs ‘26 is looking to be a reliable arm this year. Koenigs helped his 7th and 8th grade teams be undefeated and has been putting in work in Cuba City during the winter so he can help the Pirates to a conference title and maybe more.

The Pirates first game will be on Mar 15, 2023 at Rockford Lutheran.