By Mike Sticha
With the 2017 DRS League season right around the corner, both the Veseli Warriors and Union Hill Bulldogs will be led by new managers. But the new managers are no strangers to the DRS League or their respective teams, and each brings a wealth of experience to their new roles. Chris Hertaus returns to the managerial post in Veseli, while John Masberg takes the reigns once again in Union Hill.
Veseli - Hertaus
Chris Hertaus returns to manage the Veseli Warriors, taking over from Eddie Shimota. Chris previously managed the Warriors from 1987-2014 and was Shimota’s assistant in both 2015 and 2016. He’s also been a long time officer within the DRS League. “With Eddie’s business growing, the managing became too time consuming.” It was a logical move for Chris to slide back into the role while the Veseli Ballclub Board of Directors works to find the best long-term candidate.
Chris is looking forward to it, “Getting back in the saddle, even though managing can get very trying at times, and have its ups and downs, you don't realize how much you'll miss it until you're not doing it.” He feels the 2017 season will be an improvement from last year, “In the past two seasons we have signed some new, young, good ballplayers and will be signing three more this year, which will help us improve our record and become more competitive. I am looking forward to what I think will be a very good season.”
Chris strives for a self-disciplined team, respectful of umpires, fans, each other, their ballpark, coaches, and manager. Look for his team to hustle, play hard, but also have fun after the game. He likes to play small-ball when the game is tight, adding, “Bunting was almost a lost talent until we went to wood bats in 2002. I guess you could consider that old, but I love to give the bunt sign.”
Union Hill - Masberg
John Masberg returns to Union Hill where he played and coached until the mid-2000s, and also spent time as a player/manager in the 1990s. Masberg brings experience as an Assistant Coach at River Land Community College and as a 9th grade coach at New Prague High School for eight years. Most recently, he’s been umpiring high school, Legion, and amateur baseball.
John takes over the managerial duties from Adam Gill, who will continue playing for Union Hill, but will no longer have the dual role of player/manager. Alleviating the in-game duties of Gill, and John’s sons, Conrad and Derek, who intend to join the Bulldogs, helped drive John back to the dugout.
Summarizing his feelings on being back, John explains, “I always enjoy being around the field and have always enjoyed coaching and managing at all levels. I’m excited at the potential Union Hill has coming up and the continued passion of everyone involved in the Union Hill Baseball Association and DRS league.”
While John has a laid-back style, he does have expectations regarding effort and preparation. Adding, “Team chemistry trumps talent, in my opinion. I have been associated with teams with an overflow of talent that did nothing and others that connected with each other that exceeded expectations. I also appreciate those who are accountable.” He hopes to instill a passion for the game in the young players, hoping they enjoy it as much as he and his teammates did when he played.
2017 First Game
Coincidently, Veseli and Union Hill face each other in their first League game this year, which takes place on Sunday, April 23, 2 pm at Veseli.
Learn more about the Veseli Warriors: http://veseliwarriors.teams.drsbaseball.org/
Learn more about the Union Hill Bulldogs: http://unionhillbulldogs.teams.drsbaseball.org/