After going 14-19 last season, second year Leesville head coach Oscar Reed has his guys focused on the little things to get the program going in the right direction.
With a lot of key returners coming back, the Wampus Cats are set up for a big 2018 season.
"We are real big into the fundamentals," Reed said. "That's one thing different than last year. We did fundamentals last year, but we do them every day in practice this year. It takes everything. We are going to continue lifting weights and executing fundamentally as the seasons approaches."
Leesville has 19 pitchers on its roster, including returners Johnathan Harmon and Sabian Matuu.
Matuu had a 3.04 ERA last season and struck out a team-high 53 batters.
Harmon was first-team all-district selection last season at second base will try to continue growing with his play on the mound.
Harmon batted .369 with 18 RBIs while pitching 48 1/3 innings with a 3.31 ERA in 2017.
"I think things I got better at this offseason was being a better leader, my strength and my pitching," Harmon said. "I worked on hitting my spots and my mentality of just going out and throwing strikes, rather than trying to do to much.
"I just worked on the fundamentals, like Coach Reed said. I worked on ground balls and hit off the tee to get my swing back."
Matuu was also an all-district selection last season, and Reed believes he has other guys that can contribute but is keeping it under wraps until the season kicks off.
In the field, the Wampus Cats return Harley Gill, Jordan Dowden, Noah Allian, Baylor Dillon (team-high 22 steals), Nick Monceaux and Caleb Westfall.
"I'm most excited about playing with my family on the baseball field and trying to get some wins," Dowden, who had 16 stolen bases last year, said.
"I want to win a district championship, like we did during football season. It would nice to go out during my senior year with a bang."
Gill was one of the best performers at the plate last season for the Wampus Cats, batting a team-high .390 and hitting 10 doubles at first base.
Reed says Tristian Doyle, Jacob Umbrell and freshman Jacob Mount have been sticking out early in early season practices and believes they can make an impact in the season.
During the fall, a lot of the players were on the football field, limiting what Reed could do with the entire team. However, he pushed the guys to get it done in another arena.
"We put a big emphasis on fundamentals with the guys in the fall that we had out here," Reed said. "For the team, because we couldn't touch the guys that were playing football, we put an emphasis on winning in the classroom. Our team GPA this fall was 3.1. The football team did a great job of working out, and for the baseball guys we mimicked that with the workouts that we did."
After his first season in Leesville, Reed has learned a lot about the area, on and off the field.
"I learned that this community is special, and I mean that," he said. "You look back, and that stands are packed when we have home games. They back these players and support them. I learned that the kids are respectful. We don't have discipline issues with our guys. They're typical kids, but as far as respectful, well-raised kids, we have some of the best in the state.
"I learned that competitive in Central Louisiana, because I'm from New Orleans, is tough. Our district last year wasn't a pushover."
With a year under his belt, Reed hopes the familiarity with lead to more wins.
"I think this year is going to be a lot smoother as far as them knowing me and know how to respond to me," he said. "I tip my hat to them because they did a great job last year. This year will be better because they know how I am. We're a little bit closer this year, because there is more trust there with the guys. Hopefully, that will help us."