When Doug Arnold fills out a lineup card this spring he will be doing it for the first time as a head coach.
After four years as an assistant coach at Littlestown High School, Arnold was named the head coach at Delone Catholic, taking over for Alan Felix, who was the head coach for 11 years and compiled a career record of 187-47 -- including a Class AA District 3 title last year.
"I am extremely excited for this opportunity," Arnold said. "I have wanted to be a head coach for a long time and Delone Catholic is where I went to school, so to be able to give back is awesome. Plus, this program is in such great shape, they have been successful for the past 19 years or so."
The Squires are coming off of their best season in school history. They finished the season 13-5 and defeated Kutztown 4-0 in the Class AA District 3 championship game.
Despite losing Brett Smith, Austin Noel, Tanner Orndorff and Austin Buckley to graduation, Arnold is confident the Squires' cupboard is anything but bare.
"We have Dalton Haymaker, Devon Craig and Austin Roth returning to name a few," Arnold said. "I think we have good experience back on the mound. I have already seen a few of the guys on the team and they are willing to put forth the effort necessary."
Haymaker led the Squires last year in innings pitched. Roth was Delone's starting catcher and Craig was a starting third baseman and pitcher.
Arnold attributes the success of the Delone program to great coaching, good young men who are willing to work hard and having a winning attitude in the program.
After four years as an assistant coach under Littlestown's Todd Gantz, Arnold takes away a lot of what he learned.
"The main thing I take away from my experience with Todd is how to handle kids mentally. Todd is a great leader in that respect.
And Arnold plans to keep a similar philosophy instilled by Felix.
"Fundamentally we will be able to do the simple things," Arnold said. "Get a bunt down, make the routine plays, hit behind runners. We will be aggressive, especially on the base paths. We will take the extra bases when they are there. I think Alan and I are very similar. Delone has been fundamentally sound for a long time."