REED CITY — Jeffery Phenix is among the key returners from a Reed City baseball team that was Central State Activities Association Gold Division and Division 3 district champions last season

Phenix and the Coyotes had two weeks of practice prior to last week’s spring break.

The practice schedule returns this week. Weather permitting, the Coyotes are set to have games at Morley Stanwood on Thursday and are at Pine River on Friday.

The first home game is on April 3 against Newaygo in Central State Activities Association Gold Division play.

This will mark Phenix’s fourth varsity season.

“It was a fun season and everyone wanted to play,” Phenix said.

Jeffrey led the team offensively by having the most hits (48), most RBIs (42), highest batting average (.449) and highest slugging percentage (.561).

“Phenix, who will be playing baseball at Delta College next year, is our starting catcher but will see some time on the mound and at third base,” coach Marty Shaffer said. “Jeff is a vocal leader and a natural leader at the catching position and that is why he is one of the team captains this year.”

Phenix spent some time during winter getting ready for baseball.

As a senior catcher, Phenix hopes to improve on his throwdowns.

“I want to be more of a leader, verbally, and obviously hit better,” Phenix said.

He batted .469 last season, but Phenix is confident he could top it this season.

To be a better defensive catcher, “it will take better plate control,” he said, “and just waiting for my pitch.”

Phenix is confident the Coyotes can have another strong season.

“We have a good core,” Phenix said. “We’ll see when we get outside.”

By May, Phenix is hoping the Coyotes can be playing at the top of their game. They shared the title with Big Rapids last year and hope to win it outright this season.