Cody Hall puts the Harrisburg Sons of American Legion season in perspective by looking at things very simple.
It's the same story, just a different chapter.
The story being Post 167's quest to get to the Department of Illinois American Legion State Tournament.
Harrisburg did so last year, after winning the 5th Division Tournament in Centralia, but failed to win a game at state.
And to do so this year, Hall who has some pieces returning, will be coaching with a new roster.
It's a challenge the seventh year American Legion coach is looking forward to.
"Replacing the guys we lost isn't an easy ask from the guys we have on our roster," Hall said. "We've got a handful of guys coming back, but we also have a bunch of new guys I'm excited to have on your ballclub."
Hall will boast a lineup that spans most of southeastern Illinois, collecting players from Harrisburg, Carrier Mills-Stonefort, Hardin County, Pope County, Galatia and Elkville.
Seven of Hall's 18 players have are college bound players including Carrier Mills-Stonefort's Caden VanMeter & Galatia's Noah Frailey (Shawnee CC), Harrisburg's Chance Moscardelli & Jackson Pittman (Lincoln Trail), as well as Drew Hawkins (Union College), Hardin County's Gavin Smith & Pope County's Logan Croley (SIC). Also Harrisburg product Peyton Arnold, who pitched this past year at SIC is also on the team.
Harrisburg players include, Blake Stacey, Braden Burtis, Ethan Golish, Brendan Bergan, Cam Ande, Chance Moscardelli, Jack Ford, Luke Miller, Ross Rider, Reed Rider and Riley King.
Elkville's Sam Endres will also suit up for Post 167, joining a coaching staff that includes Hall, Brandon Morse (fourth year), Rostin Bergan, Eric Burtis and Lane Dickerson.
"The goal hasn't changed since I took over seven year's ago," Hall noted. "I want to go win a state championship. We keep gaining ground and we maintain the same mentality, let's go compete and win it all."
Hall has had to sprinkle in some out of state competition to blend in with the local flair, but the unique thing for Hall's schedule this year is a trip to Omaha, Nebraska during the College World Series.
"We were one of two Illinois teams invited to the Battle of Omaha. I believe the biggest reason why has been our past success, but there were only 48 teams that got invited across the country and just to be one of them, I think, speaks volume about our program."
Post 167 will play New Ulm Gold, Minnesota Post 132 on Thursday, June 23 at 4:30 p.m., followed by Gross, Nebraska at 7 p.m. On June 24, Harrisburg will play Wichita Aeos at 11:30 a.m. and Kansas Senators at 2 p.m. On Saturday Harrisburg plays Elk North, Nebraska at 10:30 a.m., while the championship bracket will be played out June 29.
In addition, Harrisburg will be part of the Jimmy V Classic Tournament in Owensboro, Ky., July 8-9. There, Post 167 will Rockport, Indiana at 5 p.m. and Owensboro at 7 p.m. on July 8. The championship will be held July 9.
Harrisburg will conclude the regular season at the Tyler Brennan Memorial Tournament, hosted by Danville Post 210 July 15-17.
It's a wood bat tournament and Hall said it's also an appetizer for the postseason.
"Two of the three teams we are playing were part of the state tournament last year. Rock Island is the defending champs and along with Barrington advanced to the Great Lakes Tournament in Midland, Michigan.
To begin postseason play, Harrisburg is the host for this year's 5th Division Tournament, which will be played at Jay Thompson Field July 19-24. Jay Thompson Field will also be the home site for all of Post 167 games this season.
"It's awesome and truly a blessing to have such a nice facility," Hall acknowledged. "We're grateful for Jay Thompson and Harrisburg High School to allow us to play Legion baseball out there."
New This Season
For the first time in four years, Harrisburg will have a Junior American Legion team. Rhett Hughes, a Harrisburg graduate, will be the head coach and the team will consist of players from Harrisburg, Eldorado, Gallatin County, Galatia, Carrier Mills, Pope & Hardin County.
Hall said there are currently 16 players on this year's roster.
"All these guys on our team, in some fashion, fell short of their high school post season dreams, Hall said. "They come into the summer with a bit of a chip on their shoulder. My goal is to develop them in the game of baseball and the game outside of baseball. I want to teach them about our American Legion and those who have sacrificed for them to be able to play American Legion baseball."
Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois LOCAL Media Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.
Harrisburg Post 167 Schedule
6-1 at Murphysboro 6 PM
6-5 MADISONVILLE, KY. 10 AM
6-5 SIKESTON, MO. 2 PM
6-8 at Carmi (DH) 6/8 PM
6-9 NEWBURGH, IN. 6 PM
6-10 FUNKHOUSER, IN. 6 PM
6-11 at Funkhouser, In. (DH) 11 AM/1 PM
6-12 at Aviston 2 PM
6-14 MAYFIELD, KY. 6 PM
6-15 at Mayfield, Ky. 6 PM
6-16 at Newburg, In. 6 PM
6-18 EVANSVILLE-PATE Noon
6-23 New Ulm Gold, Minn* 4:30 PM
6-23 Gross, Neb.* 7 PM
6-24 Wichita Aeros* 11:30 AM
6-24 Kansas Senators* 2 PM
6-25 Elk North, Neb.* 10:30 AM
7-1 LYON CO. KY. 6 PM
7-2 at Steeleville 1 PM
7-5 METROPOLIS 6 PM
7-6 OWENSBORO, KY. 6 PM
7-8 Rockport, Ind.% 5 PM
7-8 Owensboro, Ky.% 7 PM
7-10 TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (DH) 11 AM/1 PM
7-13 at Centralia 6:30 PM
7-15 Barrington^ 6 PM
7-16 Rock Island^ 10 AM
7-16 Champaign Dream^ 4 PM
--All HOME games at Jay Thompson Field
* at Battle of Omaha, Nebraska
% at Jimmy V Classic Owensboro, Ky.
^ at Tyler Brennan Memorial Tournament, Danville