Johnson takes over as Evart baseball coach


EVART — Josh Johnson’s schedule will get busier this week.

Johnson recently took over as varsity baseball coach at Evart, replacing Pat Craven, who stepped down for family reasons, Johnson said. Prior to the spring break that ended last week, Johnson had a chance to work with the players, although practices had been confined mostly to indoors.

For the past few years, Johnson has been junior varsity coach. Not enough players were expected for Evart to have a JV team and Johnson moved up from an assistant’s position when Craven decided to resign.

Johnson is very familiar with his players and has been with them for a few years.

Assistants to Johnson will be Ken and Gus Ranjel, and Keith Wardell.

“We’ve been indoors a lot,” Johnson said prior to the break. “We managed to get out a couple of days but haven’t been on an actual field. That’s tough. It’s just tough when you can’t get on the field. You just never know. The fields are going to be soggy for awhile.”

It was Johnson’s hope this week that once the team returned from break, field conditions would provide time for quality practices.

Johnson was scheduled to have some optional practices during break. Official practices were to resume this Monday with the first scheduled game for April 16 at Glen Lake. The first home twinbill is April 22 against Highland Conference foe Lake City.

“I’m hopeful we’ll have a decent field up there,” Johnson said.

Once he puts his team on the field, Johnson has high hopes.

“I think we’ve got some real good kids,” he said. “It’s tough being indoors for so long. It’s tough to keep them focused.”

Johnson was varsity softball coach three years and JV coach two years. He was JV baseball coach last year. He also helped out in Pine River and Reed City. He played Pine River baseball in the early 1990s when Shawn Ruppert, the current skipper, was coach.