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With a roster full of multi-sport athletes, Southeast hopes to turn sporting potential into wins | high school baseball

Whether teams have dominant pitching, powerful hitting, or all-around defensive strength, there are many recipes for success in high school baseball.

The Lincoln Southeast Knights may have found their own formula – speed and athleticism. This year’s Southeast Baseball team is packed with multisport athletes, with 10 of the team’s 20 collegiate players also participating in college football this fall.

Since head coach Montana Jones also serves as an assistant coach for the Southeast collegiate football team, he has seen firsthand how competing in multiple sports can help players overcome adversity.

“Southeast has always been proud of its multi-sport heritage and has been for a long, long time,” said Jones. “I obviously want the baseball guys to play football because they can compete in a variety of ways, which helps your mental toughness.”

Some of the standouts making the move from the griddle to baseball diamonds include senior quarterback Willem Reddick, leading wide receiver Will Barrett, leading tackler Will Jesske, and tight end/defensive end Luke Blatchford.

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Even the Knights’ leading fall rusher, Junior Max Büttenback, will continue to lead the team’s offense this spring. Buettenback, a first-team Super State selector a year ago after batting over .450, is a Nebraska baseball recruit who is always a tough opponent for opposing pitchers.

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If he roams the outfield while off the plate, Buettenback will do so alongside another future husker, albeit in a different sport – senior Jake Appleget. Appleget, a NU football conscript, had not played baseball since his freshman season before rejoining the team this year. After scoring his first goal in nearly three years last week, it’s clear some of Appleget’s old skills are returning to him.

“He’s probably one of the best athletes we’ve seen in the Southeast,” Jones said. “He would have a bit of growing pains to get back in but defensively he’s done really well and kept working hard.”

With a focus on team baseball, speed on the basepaths, and smart hitters on offense, Southeast will rely on his pitching to stay competitive this year. The vast majority of the Knights roster will contribute on the mound after many players gain experience in American Legion baseball towards the end of the spring 2021 season or summer.

There may not be any real ace that’s head and shoulders above the rest of the rotation, but Southeast’s depth will help it fight its way through busy stretches, such as when it plays four games in five days next week.

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“We have much better depth this year; Some of the seniors who are now juniors got their feet wet, so nerves are out of the way at that point,” Jones said.

As the city’s premier baseball program, expectations at Southeast are always focused on the postseason. After winning the state tournament four straight seasons from 2015 to 2018, Southeast hasn’t been back since.

Such goals are a long way off, but Jones is certain of one thing – the sheer potential in his group of multisport athletes should keep the Knights competitive throughout the season as long as they follow the team’s new motto.

“It’s called the 1 percent rule — everyone gets 1 percent better every day,” Jones said. “Our big thing is just to win the day because we’re not doing it for anyone else; we do it about ourselves.”

Photos: Lincoln North Star, Millard North Battle on the Ball Diamond

Lincoln North Star vs. Millard North, 3.19

Lincoln North Star vs. Millard North, 3.19

Lincoln North Star’s Cameron Teinert plays Millard North at Den Hartog Field on Saturday.


JAIDEN TRIPI, Journal Star

Lincoln North Star vs. Millard North, 3.19

Lincoln North Star vs. Millard North, 3.19

Lincoln North Star’s Lynden Bruegman (8) goes home during Saturday’s game against Millard North at Den Hartog Field.


JAIDEN TRIPI, Journal Star

Lincoln North Star vs. Millard North, 3.19

Lincoln North Star vs. Millard North, 3.19

Lincoln North Star’s Caden Steiger (15) sprints for first base during Saturday’s game against Millard North at Den Hartog Field.


JAIDEN TRIPI, Journal Star

Lincoln North Star vs. Millard North, 3.19

Lincoln North Star vs. Millard North, 3.19

Millard North bench watches the action during Saturday’s game against Lincoln North Star at Den Hartog Field.


JAIDEN TRIPI, Journal Star

Lincoln North Star vs. Millard North, 3.19

Lincoln North Star vs. Millard North, 3.19

Lincoln North Star’s Davis Jones sprints to first base during Saturday’s game against Millard North at Den Hartog Field.


JAIDEN TRIPI, Journal Star

Lincoln North Star vs. Millard North, 3.19

Lincoln North Star vs. Millard North, 3.19

Lincoln North Star’s Cooper Wesslund hits the ball against Millard North at Den Hartog Field on Saturday.


JAIDEN TRIPI, Journal Star

Lincoln North Star vs. Millard North, 3.19

Lincoln North Star vs. Millard North, 3.19

Lincoln North Star’s Cameron Teinert plays Millard North at Den Hartog Field on Saturday.


JAIDEN TRIPI, Journal Star

Lincoln North Star vs. Millard North, 3.19

Lincoln North Star vs. Millard North, 3.19

Lincoln North Star’s Cameron Teinert plays Millard North at Den Hartog Field on Saturday.


JAIDEN TRIPI, Journal Star

Reach the author at 402-473-7437 or at [email protected] On Twitter @lmullin7

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