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Clay Center’s Andrew Bent – Coach Of The Month Presented By Salina Regional Orthopedic Clinic

By Matt Browning

Andrew Bent, the head baseball coach at Clay Center, has made it a point over his career to be a relational coach on and off the field.

This philosophy has led to the Tigers making it to the state tournament three times in nine seasons with Bent at the helm.

“The players and I have a mutual respect for each other and this creates a positive, respectful and winning atmosphere,” Bent said. “The expectations and rules are all laid out for the players.  They never change and every single player follows them word for word. At the end of the day I want them to become responsible, respectful adults and have some fun while doing it.”

There are state tournament expectations again for Clay Center this year, as the Tigers return all but one player from last season’s team that lost in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A Tournament.

“We will have a strong upper class this year but again we have some young guys that will be finding their way in also,” Bent said. “We will be very solid on the mound again. If we can hit the ball and score some runs we will have a great year.”

Bent has two favorite memories that were not only significant for him, but for Clay Center as well.

“2015 was my second year as head coach and we made the state tournament for the first time in 20 years,” Bent said. “In 2020 we made state and got runner-up. That year was also the first state tournament win ever at Clay Center, Also in 2020 we won the NCKL for the first time in program history.”

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