Team effort fuels Flames’ success

SPORTSBEAT
Greg Ceilley • REVIEW SPORTS EDITOR

The Plymouth Flames, keyed by a strong team effort, have had a a fine season and hope to make a good run in the Rock River Baseball League playoffs.

The Flames, the league’s Northeast Division champions, open the playoffs Saturday at home versus division rival Cedarburg at 1:30 p.m. at Carl Loebe Field. The teams split their two regular - season meetings.

“It should be a good match-up. We have to take advantage of our scoring opportunities. It’s been a long season but the guys have to have a sense of urgency now,” said Flame manager Rick Meyer.

Meyer thinks the team is capable of making a strong run in the playoffs if the Flames put it all together.

“We’re certainly capable of putting it all together,” said Meyer.

The Flames’ hitting, pitching and defense have been pretty sound most of the season. The ballclub has a deep pitching staff and a balanced lineup on offense. Opposing pitchers can’t rest easy when facing the Flames’ potent lineup.

Meyer said balance and depth (for pitching and hitting) have been keys to the team’s success.

“We have numerous guys who can play numerous positions. We’re good in all phases. On any given day, anyone can step forward,” Meyer pointed out.

The Flames have a nice mix of veterans and young players. It’s a very welcome sight to see so many home-grown players on the Flames’ roster.

Several former standouts on the Plymouth High School baseball team such as Zac Cain, Clay Henning, Luke Held and Jake Klemme have joined the Flames the past few years and have made key contributions.

“I’m pleased with their [young players] contributions. They have played an important role. Our veterans have offered good leadership. Everybody is offering something,” said Meyer.

“This mix [of veterans and young players] couldn’t be better,” said longtime Flame infielder Greg Krahn.

“I never had the opportunity to play on a team with so much talent. I will always remember the 2016 team. I truly love these g uys.

“I sometimes can’t relate to them but that’s OK. I just try to lead by example and try to encourage as much as possible. I just have to sit back and remember that I started playing with the Flames before most of these guys were even born. And then it all makes sense again.”

Krahn, a 1990 PHS graduate, played for the Flames from 1992- 2007 and then retired for seven years. He rejoined the Flames last year.

It means a lot to Krahn and other players to play for their hom etown team.

“It means a lot [to play for the Flames]. I’ve put in a lot of hard work to get to this point. It is definitely not as easy as it was when I was 22,” said Krahn who is 44.

Krahn played in the league’s all-star game this year.

“Greg’s experience has helped me and the young players, sometimes by example and sometimes verbal,” said Meyer.

“Greg has been a good addition. He has had a good season.”

Krahn explained why he rejoined the Flames.

“The main reason I decided to come out of retirement was for my daughter, Kaylee. She has struggled through three years of physical therapy [three consecutive years with a torn ACL]. Watching her go through it inspired me to go through it with her,” he said.

“She had a goal to get back to basketball and I made a goal to get back to the Flames. God willing, she will finally reach her goal this fall.”

Kaylee, 16, will be a junior this fall at PHS and will be playi ng basketball for the Panthers.

“I’m having one of my better hitting seasons ever. Defensively, I wish it could have been a little better but overall I shouldn’t complain,” said Greg.

Greg said he wasn’t surprised he made the all-star team.

“This is always one of my goals every year and I put in the extra work and effort to get there. I was extremely proud of our team sending six players to the all-star game,” he said.

The Flames’ other all-stars were Klemme, Greg Rhude, Matt Rhude, Henning and Cain).

Greg explained the keys to his strong season.

“Having fun again. I used to live and die by every at-bat, every error. I would get upset, angry, nervous or anxious. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to win just as much as the next guy but I try to enjoy and encourage my teammates as much as possible,” he said.

It’s great to see all of the enthusiasm and excitement surrounding the Flames in recent seasons. The team had an outstanding 2015 season, climaxed by the Flames’ first appearance in the Land O’ Lakes League’s grand championship playoffs since 1991.

The Flames’ fans have been very supportive all season. If you haven’t watched this team this season, Saturday’s game is a wonderful opportunity to cheer on your hometown team.


Most recent cover pages:














Copyright 2009-2018 The Plymouth Review, All Rights Reserved

Contact Information

113 E. Mill St., Plymouth WI 53073
Local: 920-893-6411 Toll Free: 1-877-467-6591
Fax: 920-893-5505










Vandervart