The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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June 12, 2013

Coach Tyler Howe's professional career ended abruptly, teaching him -- and his players -- to take nothing for granted

(Continued)

He immediately made his three seniors -- Cole Dickey, Jared Henfrey and Ben Hildebrandt -- captains. Their assent has paid off for the Rebels, who are now 9-2 and 6-0 in the Big East Conference. Dickey leads the team as Northeast’s top pitcher with 30 strikeouts in five starts; his Earned Run Average (ERA) through 23 1/3 innings is a whopping 0.60.

Meanwhile Hildebrandt is batting .282, second on the team with 11 hits and 12 runs. Henfrey leads the team with 14 RBIs, three doubles and nine stolen bases. Other upperclassmen -- juniors Charlie Marcucci (14 stolen bases, 17 hits, .472 average) and Tevin Stoecker (two home runs, 11 hits, .324 average) -- have helped set an example for younger regulars in the Rebel lineup (sophomore Matt Haferbier and freshman Ketzalli Dondiego).

Together, each senior said they’re unified in a goal to win the conference, something they said was attainable last year but didn’t happen.

“Last year it was always our goal, but we weren’t always focused on it,” Dickey said. “We knew we had another year, but this is our last go around and we want to go out the best way possible.”

Howe added: “Coming into it... I hadn’t really seen any of these three play before. So I knew learning the guys, what I was going to demand: play hard, sprint out and see where the season takes us.”

It was no trouble for any of them to buy into How and his pedigree. Professional experience aside, he’s former player at Northeast, he inherited the team from his father, Jeff; his mother, Teri, is Northeast’s Athletic Director.

But high level experience doesn’t hurt either...

“He’s got more experience playing, a good coach who knows his stuff,” Henfrey said.

“He thinks of the game in different ways,” Hildebrandt said. “His experience just helps us more.”

“I took from what I feel have been some of my better coaches, better communicators as far as teaching the game,” Howe said. “I’ve tried to adapt a few of their coaching styles and carry that over into my own personal coaching career.”

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