After losing in the bottom of the 9th inning twice at the state tournament last year, it was a long off-season for the Kalispell Lakers as they looked forward to a brand new American Legion baseball season.

"I think we're all real anxious to get on the field,” said senior player Adam Frandsen.  “It's been a long off-season; a cold off-season and we're looking forward to getting back on the field."

"We've been waiting, especially the seniors, we've been waiting for the opportunity for a while and we're ready to go," added senior outfielder Jake Barstow.

The squad knows they lost a lot of experience from last year but that doesn’t mean they aren’t optimistic about their new season on the diamond.

"They're excited.  There are a little of question marks.  There are a lot of spots that kids are vying for a position so that always leads to the expectations and the excitement of what's to come,” said Lakers head coach Ryan Malmin.  “We're really inexperienced this year.  We've got a lot of kids that we lost to graduation so we're going to have to have some tough lessons early on but we really like the kids' effort and the rhythm and the pace that they've had in practice.  They've been upbeat and had a lot of energy and the kids have put in a lot of time in the off-season."

"I think with our team it's mainly just our attitude,” said senior pitcher Justin Wallace about the strenghths of his squad this year.  “We've got a good team that's going to work hard.  We're not the most talented out there. But we'll work hard and I think that's our biggest strength."