by Ryan Peterson
Preseason rankings don't mean anything on the field. But the new found respect for Nacogdoches baseball feels pretty good to the Dragons.
"It's a lot better then starting last in district," senior Justin McAninch says.
The Dragons are expected to be at the top.
"It feels good," senior Stuart Hill says. "We should be number one I think."
The district 12-4 favorites are also getting state wide attention, ranked 14th in Class 4A.
"Being ranked 14th means we were successful last year," head coach Todd Sparks says.
The Dragons are battle tested. Nac played nine playoff games last season, winning five.
"It doesn't matter if your first or third," Hill says. "Last year we were second and went further then anyone."
Most of that team is back and wants to prove it was no fluke. The Dragons want to continue building a winner that Nacogdoches had been missing for several years.
"It's definitely respect," McAninch says of the attention. " But it also puts a big bullseye on your chest. Now we have to go earn respect this year."