If there is a major sport one associates with summer, it's baseball.
"It's what I do," Siuslaw baseball coach Tom Shinn said Monday, as the Vikings football minicamp got underway at the high school.
Shinn also serves as an assistant football coach with the Vikings, but you'll find him wearing a Vikings baseball hoody at football practice.
"They'll have to tear it off me," he laughed.
Shinn will be entering his third year of resurrecting Siuslaw baseball as he helps first-year coach Sam Johnson build a football program.
He sees one serving the other.
"Any time you have multi-sport athletes, it's good for us," Shinn said. "It's good for them to learn discipline and teamwork, and just getting in shape and staying in shape.
"I want them playing as many sports as possible, but I want them giving their time to baseball."
This summer he had varsity baseball players Elijah Blankenship and Jared Northrop playing for the North Coos American Legion team.
Blankenship has turned his attention to football, while Northrop, recently returned from a weeklong running camp, has rejoined the North Coos team that has qualified for the state tournament in Roseburg.
Several Vikings junior varsity players — many out for football — also got in some summer ball.
"We had Isaac Garza, Henry Rankin, Beau Erickson, Ethan Halpin, Ethan Aaron, a lot of the JV guys who were able to do the Babe Ruth stuff," Shinn said.
That gives him hope that there will be more interest in summer baseball next year.
"I'd like to see more of us able to do it," Shinn said. "I had seven guys lined up, just couldn't get together a nine to have our own summer high school group playing.
"We had some guys trying to get better, but we just couldn't finish the deal."
So, for now, it's on to football.
"The kids are working hard, it's a good, disciplined group," Shinn said. "Sam's brought a lot of energy.
"The staff is gelling together well, the kids are gelling together well. It should be a good year."
Northrop's North Coos team clinched first place in its division last Friday and will play at the eight-team American Legion state tournament July 27-31 in Roseburg. The top two teams advance to the regional tournament Aug. 8-13 in Cody, Wyo. …
North Coos has players from Florence, Reedsport and North Bend. …Siuslaw's baseball co-op with Mapleton may be ending, with the graduation of four-year letterman Gabe Simington. "We don't have any kids that I know of that have shown interest," Shinn said. …
Seniors Caleb Hennessee and Jared Northrop likely will anchor the Vikings pitching rotation next spring. Junior Dalton Stinger is a question mark. "I have heard both ways, so I don't know," Shinn said. "We'd love to see eight kids we can throw up on the hill. We have to come up with at least six." …
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