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Ozark rising backstop star Buvid values insight Sundlie provides him behind the plate


The timing of Justin Sundlie’s return to his alma mater a year ago coincided with Cooper Buvid’s move from Mississippi to Ozark.

The timing worked out well for Buvid, as he burst upon the scene for the Tigers as a sophomore. He earned starts behind the plate late in the season.

Sundlie was a catcher himself during his glory days.

As Buvid enters this season as Ozark’s full-fledged starting catcher, he values the lessons Sundlie can provide him.

It means a lot to me,” Buvid said. “He knows what he is doing. I can get feedback from him and ask him what I need to work on. He can help me more than a lot of coaches can.”

The hope out of Ozark’s camp is Buvid can blossom and add to the Tigers’ long and storied tradition at catcher.

“He’s going to add punch to the middle of our lineup, after batting seventh or eighth last year,” Sundlie said.

“Wherever he puts me, I want to be there for the team as much as I can,” Buvid said.

Buvid enjoyed a productive season as a linebacker for Ozark’s football team last fall. He feels good about the gains in strength he’s posted over the past year and can’t wait to show off his power to the opposite field.

“I got a lot stronger in the off-season and football made me a stronger person,” Buvid said. “I’m trying to hit balls hard to the right side. I’m getting a little more elevation to the right side and into the gaps.”