Bucks Finish 2014 Season with Third Best Record in NWL
With several days left in the regular season, the Bucks looked like a lock for a second consecutive playoff berth. As we are constantly reminded in sports, though, anything can happen.
Waterloo finished with the third best overall record (45-27) in the Northwoods League, but finished one half game behind Mankato in the second half standings and missed the post season. Willmar and Mankato are currently facing off in a battle to represent the North Division in the Championship Series.
Even though the season fell short of expectations, the Bucks have a lot to be proud of, including numerous player accolades.
Five Bucks made the NWL Mid-Season All Star Team; they were Adam Bray, Jon McAllister, Pat MacKenzie, Adam Dian and Will Sparks. Three of those players, Bray, McAllister and MacKenzie made the Post-Season All Star Team, as well. MacKenzie also was also nominated for the Big League Showcase, along with Derek Burkamper, Kevin Kaczmarski, Greg Kuhlman, Cody Sedlock and Landon Simpson. Dian was signed by the Texas Rangers immediately following the NWL All Star Game.
Several players will go down in the record books for passing Bucks milestones, including Pat MacKenzie for breaking the career steals record. Connor McClain moved into third place all time for career RBI, as well. The Bucks frequently had "Player Of The Night" nominations, with the most recent being McClain on August 5th.
Much of the Bucks core was made up of veteran members, and roster turnover in college summer leagues is a big factor, so it is hard to predict how the Bucks will fare in 2015. Manager Travis Kieweit and his staff have shown tremendous recruiting ability recently, though, so fans should have high expectations for the future, even if the Bucks lose some talent in the offseason.