The Newton Rams baseball program looks to get to first-year heights in 2024 under new head coach Delvin Jordan.
Jordan was named as the Rams’ new skipper over the offseason, and he was impressed with the team’s work ethic upon his arrival.
“I saw some guys who grinded,” Jordan said. “It was nice to take over a team that has some kids who have leadership and really work hard. I was excited to see that and we have a lot of potential.”
Along with Jordan came his expectations for the team to be great.
The standard of the program is something that Jordan has been harping on to the team as they head into the season.
“I wanted to bring an identity,” Jordan said. “An identity that the culture is going to be set that we expect to win. The expectation is to come in and demand excellence.”
The Rams are coming off a 11-18 season in which they finished 4-11 in Region 4-AAAAAAA play.
With last year’s 11 wins being Newton’s highest win total since the 2017-2018 season, Jordan is looking for the current Rams squad to set the bar higher.
“I have been preaching since I got here that, ‘Winners win.’ The guys have bought in, and that is the standard. The goal is to win 20 games,” Jordan said.
One area where Jordan feels comfortable is his pitching rotation.
Jordan named Jordan Nolley, Caden Brown, Lucas Ballard, Rome Mays and Devon Hardeman as just a few of the guys who will take the mound for Newton in 2024.
“I have a stable, I have eight guys that I feel like I can trust,” Jordan said.
As far as at the plate, Jordan is looking for Newton to have an uptick in its power numbers from a year ago while sticking to the fundamentals.
“I think last year they hit about three home runs together. I think this year we should see about 10 home runs,” Jordan said. “But at the end of the day, if they put the ball in play — hit doubles, run bases, get our bunts down, be good on the bases and barrel some baseballs, then I’ll be excited.
Jordan tabbed junior Brown as one of Newton’s leaders on the diamond.
Brown started Newton’s scrimmage against Jackson County last Thursday. The junior picked up a double and a triple while striking out two batters in just one inning of work.
Outside of Brown, Jordan spoke about seniors Ballard, Mays and Nolley as leaders in the Rams dugout.
As Newton goes into the 2024 season, Jordan looks to turn the page into a new era of Rams baseball.
“I am excited to take over a new program and take it to new heights,” Jordan said. “I think they have won around a combined 30 games the past three seasons, and I expect to break that quickly with the work we put in and setting the foundation.”