Blue Thunder Baseball gets new head coach



Kyle Hauser (’17) makes a throw to first

Ben Clanin, Co-Sports Editor

Belvidere North’s baseball team has been making history in recent years, becoming regional champs two years ago and then fielding one of the youngest teams the school has ever seen the year after.  This year the Blue Thunder are shaking things up with the departure of last year’s head varsity coach Jeff Dobbertin.  The coaching staff has received a complete and total overhaul, with only one coach from last year remaining. The new varsity coach, John Paddock, was a part of North’s program from 2007-2014 as the head JV coach and then the assistant Varsity coach under Dennis Kehrer. Assisting Paddock this season will be Chris Blatchford, who has also had some experience in the Belvidere North program when he was the assistant JV coach three years ago. The Junior Varsity skipper is Belvidere North alumni and former pitcher, Carl Rapp who will be assisted by David Graffy.  And the new coaching staff will be rounded out by Jim Paddock, who will coach the Fresh/Soph team.  

     The new coaching staff has gotten going early,  with having open gyms almost every week for nearly two months before the season, and having pitchers and catcher come in to throw on Monday and Wednesday mornings for nearly a month in advance.  Paddock looks to hit the ground running with his varsity squad in order to take the conference title.

     This year the Blue Thunder’s varsity squad will have ten returning players, only losing four seniors from the previous season.  Of those ten returning players there are four juniors, and three of those four were everyday starters for the Blue Thunder last year as sophomores.

     Last year the Blue Thunder went 16-15 overall last season with a 13-5 record in the NIC-10, losing twice to Harlem, twice to Hononegah, and once to Boylan. That record got them to a third place finish in conference between Harlem and Hononegah.

     Belvidere North is looking to have a breakout season this year and take the NIC-10 conference title, they will do that with a good combination of youth and experience underneath a new coaching staff7