Reed City freshman working on baseball skills during summer

REED CITY — One Phenix has graduated from the Reed City baseball program, but another will be counted upon to make contributions for the Coyotes during the 2016 season.

Ray Phenix was a first-team all-Central State Activities Association Gold Division player this past season while his brother, Jeffrey, a freshman, was second team.

Jeffrey Phenix has been a steady player this summer for the Coyotes.

“It didn’t go bad,” Phenix said of his freshman season. “I felt we could have had a better season. We’re looking good this summer.”

His brother’s graduation “is a big loss,” Jeffrey said, pointing to Ray’s .333 batting average and 1.83 ERA. Ray Phenix also was the team MVP.

“Ray was a great example of hard work and determination,” Reed City coach Marty Shaffer said.

But Shaffer is now looking for the younger Phenix to deliver three solid varsity seasons.

Jeffrey batted .310. He played mostly second base and saw some action at catcher.

“(My season) was better than I thought it would be,” Jeffrey Phenix said. “I knew I could play defense as well as I did. Hitting was better than I expected. I thought it was going to be a lot different. I always hit against my brother when I was younger.”

Jeffrey had four errors the entire season at second base.

“I thought I had a very good season,” he said, adding the summer he’s working on his hitting.

Playing summer baseball will be beneficial, Phenix said.

“It helps a lot,” he said. “Not swinging a bat during the Sumner would hurt a lot.”

Phenix also plays football and basketball and is having a busy summer. But he makes sure he has time for baseball, his favorite sport.

“Baseball trumps all,” Phenix said.