When Kent Howell was hired to take over Marsh Valley’s baseball program prior to the 2013 high school season, the Eagles had no district championships and no appearances in the state tournament since the school’s baseball program was launched in 1991.
In 2019, Marsh Valley won its third 3A District 5 crown in a row, went to state for the fifth time in Howell’s seven-year tenure and won the school’s first baseball state championship.
The Eagles’ offense averaged the most runs per game of any 3A team in the state despite the squad’s youth-laden roster. At the state tourney, they outscored opponents 43-11 over three games.
“He made us work a lot harder and show us the potential we have,” senior catcher Payton Campbell said. “He was also one of our best friends. He was like a little kid in the dugout, doing stuff with us, so that brought the team together.”
Howell is the Journal’s 2019 All-Area Baseball Coach of the Year.