Back-to-back champs, Denmark prepares for another run

Published: Mar. 26, 2023 at 7:42 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 27, 2023 at 12:40 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - It may not feel like it after a weekend storm dumped roughly a foot of snow on northeast Wisconsin, but baseball season is upon us.

The last time Denmark was on the field it ended with about as exciting of a finish as you can ask for, a walk off double by Hayden Konkol for the Vikings second straight state championship.

“It was a long time before we really got over that. I mean, Hayden’s hit was the most exciting thing that’s happened in a long time. It was electric. I loved it,” said Ethan Ovsak.

“That entire summer we were always hyped up, but then as soon as we got back to playing Legion ball, football came through, we got back to business,” said Lucas Miller.

Ethan Ovsak and Lucas Miller were among the juniors that played a key role on that last title team. Now they, along with the rest of the Vikings, are back at work and preparing to defend their crown in 2023.

“It’s like a blessing and a curse if you think about it. Every team that plays us is going to give us their best shot, which makes us play better,” said Lucas Miller.

“Kind of remind them you have to work to get what you want out it. Nothing is going to be given to them. We have a lot of question marks coming into this year. I think we have some guys that will step up,” said head coach Bill Miller.

“We’ve got people that are good at hitting, people that are good at fielding. We got our pitchers, we got our bunters, we got everybody, but we need everybody to step up and do their part in order to be successful,” said Ovsak.

There will be plenty of new faces on the field this year with Denmark having as many as seven new players in the lineup when they open the season. Nothing new for a program that’s seen success year in and year out.

“Over the last two years we’ve lost so many good players. They are hard to replace. We don’t really look at it as replacing them. We’re kind of just stepping into their shoes,” said Ovsak.

Like any spring sport, though, the next step in Denmark’s title defense is simply getting out of the gym and on to an actual field.

“You can’t wait for that first day outside. Even when it’s cold out, it’s so much better than being inside. I think all of us are looking forward to that first day,” said Lucas Miller.

Still, whether it’s in the gym or ion the grass, the focus right now is getting back to the basics.

“Going through all the small things that we try to perfect throughout the year. Things that helped us, baserunning, the small things,” said Lucas Miller.

“It might take ten games before we figure out whose going to be where. This is a game of being patient. So, as coaches we’ve got to be patient,” said Bill Miller.

“It’s all excitement. We’re all really excited to be here. We’re all really ready to go. We’re putting in the work. We’re starting our way,” said Ovsak.