West Platte Seeking Better Fortune at State

Published 05/27 2013 04:22PM

Updated 05/27 2013 07:36PM

(WESTON, Mo.) For six years, Ryan Ramey and Zane Tanner have been a coaching tandem in Weston. Ramey acts as an assistant to Tanner for West Platte basketball, with Tanner returning the favor in the spring.

"You kind of lose track working with the guy. We work well together," Ramey said. "Our success comes from our athletes, as you can tell from our players."

Those players include a core of seniors that have brought the success in bulk.

After the likes of Matthew Heili, Dylan Guthrie, and Logan Moose helped take a 30-win Blue Jay basektball team to a second place finish at state, that same leadership has earned West Platte another state appearance.

That's, again, with just one loss.

"My little sister was telling me the other day that I'd only lost four times as a senior in all the things I did," Moose, a senior pitcher, said. "It gave me a little moment to think about that. It's pretty crazy."

Through two senior seasons, a combined 51-2 isn't too shabby, but the players and coaches know the job this spring is to finish the job after falling just short of the Class 2 hoops crown.

"Knowing (the coaches) are still going to be there to support us in baseball like they did basketball, make us better in the sport we're in right now, it makes us feel better," outfielder Guthrie said.

"The attitude going in, knowing you can win every game, it just transitioned over," second baseman Matthew Heili added. "We have a lot of the same players and coaches, so we just carried it right into baseball."

A steady mix of sound pitching and hitting has fueled the Blue Jays all year. That's highlighted by the sub-2.00 ERA carried by Moose and freshman McKauley Stephenson and a near-.700 batting average for senior catcher Jared Meyer.

"It's really hard to get under our skin. We're very confident in what we do," he said. "Playing with Matt, Moose, and Dylan, I couldn't have asked for a better group of guys to spend my senior season with."

The team could return to Weston with a coveted state title, but they may already own one thing.

That's a new standard for Blue Jay athletics.

"You could definitely make an argument that this may be the best senior class that's come through here with the amount of success we've had," Ramey said.

West Platte will face Canton in the Class 2 semifinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday in O'Fallon.

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