DeRing looks to continue BV’s winning ways


The Buckeye Valley baseball team has had its fair share of coaches over the course of the last several years.

Drew Kirby, now at Dublin Coffman, led the Barons to a 15-9 record in 2019. After 2020’s lost season, Tyler Miller took the reins, compiling a 21-5 mark last spring.

What was Miller’s first hoorah as a head coach at BV turned out to be his last, though. Now, it’s up to John DeRing to continue to build on what Kirby and Miller started.

DeRing, who coached for 12 years in Georgia, spent the last three as head coach at Whitehall-Yearling, where he saw the Barons live and in person in MSL-Ohio play. When the position at BV opened up, he jumped on it.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be here in this community with these great kids,” he said, “and I hope to continue the winning tradition and provide some consistency and continuity to the baseball program.”

Despite the coaching carousel, consistency certainly wasn’t a problem for BV last year as it won four of every five games it played. Several players are back from that squad, including Mason Kurtz, Enzo DiRocco, Mike Choe, Zach Church, Joey Eurez, Jaxson Stried and Cole Raile.

The seven will make up the core of the team, DeRing said. Kurtz, an all-conference standout, can help out all over; DiRocco will spend most of his time behind the plate, but can contribute on the infield; Choe and Eurez will lead the way on the mound; Stried will see time pitching, catching and on the infield; Church will add depth to the rotation and spend time roaming the outfield; and Raile, a middle-of-the-lineup guy, will contribute everywhere.

Newcomers DeRing expects to bolster the lineup include lefty pitcher Nolan Ralph, J.T. Richardson (pitcher), Ted Akas (utility), Tanner Domyanich (infield), Ridge Webb (infield) and Noah Huss (pitcher/infield).

DeRing said the offense should be solid … and the defense could be even better.

“Offense should be a strength as long as we keep the gap-to-gap approach we’ve been working on in practice,” he said. “But, defense should be our biggest strength.

“Keys to success are staying humble and being hard-nosed ball players,” DeRing continued. “We have to stay within ourselves and be honest about our abilities.”

He said consistency will be key as well as the defending league champs will have a target on their back.

Buckeye Valley opens the season Saturday against host Westfall at the V.A. Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe. After that, the Barons will get right into league play with a series against Wellington.

Buckeye Valley’s Cole Raile celebrates with his teammates after hitting a home run during a game last season in Sunbury. Valley’s Cole Raile celebrates with his teammates after hitting a home run during a game last season in Sunbury. Gazette | File

By Ben Stroup

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