WEST VALLEY PREPS

West Valley Preps Goodyear/Surprise baseball preview

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The new opening day of the high school baseball regular season is March 12. The Independent asked West Valley coaches to take a look at their teams:

Dysart Demons

4A Southwest Region
Coach: Nicholas Rizzi (seventh year)
Who are your team’s top returning players? Isaac Silva (1B/P) (Sr.), Alan Hermosillo (OF/INF/P) (Jr.)
What is your team’s best attribute? The roster is versatile and athletic with the potential to play strong team defense. The likely starting outfielders should all track and catch the ball well while the younger infielders can shift interchangeably between 3B, SS, and 2B.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? The team will need to build consistent habits and take advantage of reps in practice and games to be better able to compete at the varsity level.
Who are your team leaders? The team will be led by Carlo Ramos (OF) (Jr.), Eddie Barker (P/1B) (Jr.), and Tyler Giacoletti-Moody (C) (So.)
Who are the newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? Easton Carleton (INF/P) (Fr.), Nate Morales (INF/P) (Fr.), and Isaac Sustaita (INF/P) (Fr.) will each get regular innings and at-bats on the varsity roster.
What needs to happen for your team to reach the state tournament, or reach program goals? The coaching staff is looking for the roster to show consistent progress in skill development and ability to execute at the varsity level. Success will be defined by the team’s growth over the course of the season.

Estrella Foothills Wolves

Coach: Patrick McCubbins (14th year)
4A Southwest Region
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? I would have to say that we will continue to rely on a strong passion for the game and commitment to their team and program. We consistently turn out guys that really value playing for their school and community.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? Just learning the game and each other. We have graduated a lot of players the last few seasons so we will really rely on player buy-in, commitment and coachability this spring.
Who are your team leaders? Our top returning players this year are Jacob Hitchcock and Corbin Triplett. Both have been members of our varsity team since their sophomore seasons. We will really lean on their experience and leadership this spring.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? It’s an interesting question because I still see certain guys really as newcomers since their season was cut so short last spring. I would have to say guys like Angel Penaloza-Leyva, Garrett Sloan, Cooper Vanderhei and Demario Faison will all be key guys this spring. Those are four guys that were a part of our varsity club last spring, but we didn’t get to see a ton of reps so it will be an exciting spring for all four for sure. In addition, we have a lot of players that were on our JV and freshman teams last year that will have an opportunity to earn a spot and contribute on varsity.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament, or achieve the goals you have set this season? We need to remain healthy, be very creative with offensive opportunities when presented and play catch. It’s essentially the same ingredients that are necessary every spring.

Millennium Tigers

Coach: Matt Royal (second year at Millennium)
5A Desert West Region
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We have a lot of new faces this season and all the COVID protocols in place have allowed us multiple opportunities to get familiar with one another and learn our style of play. We are extremely motivated heading into this season.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? Next guy up mentality. The spring could be interesting for a lot of teams and programs as we deal with the pandemic. Regardless of who takes the field on game day, we have to have a mentality of next guy up.
Who are your team leaders? Connor Hill, Kaleb Duncan, Caleb Smith, Roman Amaro and Seanan Farney.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Miles Murphy, Henry Brauckmiller and Sterling Albrand.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament, or achieve the goals you have set this season? Compete for seven full innings night in and night out. Stay consistent and continue to work hard.

Paradise Honors Panthers

Coach: James Lofton (first year)
4A Southwest Region
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Speed and pitching.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? Chemistry
Who are your team leaders? Drew Delaney, Joey Collier and Thomas Spigelmire. 
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? Brady Moser and Damien Mercado
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament, or achieve the goals you have set this season? Play together and do the little things that win games. Stealing bases, moving runners and just playing fundamental baseball. The old school way.

Shadow Ridge Stallions

6A Southwest Region
Coach: Roddy Friar (third year).
Who are your team’s top returning players? Frank Wierman, Treyton Tarver, Gavin Arbuckle, Chance Greene, Colten Graham, Connor Dougal, Carter Mattox, Dillon Orr and Austin Humphres.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Pitching, pitching and more pitching ... all 3 levels will be 5-7 arms deep with upper velocity.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? Have to be mentally strong, compete in the box and play the game the right way at all times. Be a unit and compete every pitch.
Who are your team leaders? Carter Mattox, Frank Wierman and Trey Tarver.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? Senior New Mexico infield transfer will help balance out the 3B corner, sophomore Austin Matranga who has incredible hands and glove work will also help the infield play flawless defense behind our pitching staff.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season? We have to fight and play with some guts and heart period. we will compete on the bump and with our gloves. The true test will be quality at bats and doing our jobs in crucial moments of games.

Valley Vista Monsoon

6A Southwest Region
Coach: Brady Farrington (second year).
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Chemistry. They know each other’s style of play and what to expect from each other.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? Consistency
Who are your team leaders? Zachary Chelini and Eddie Montoya.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? Andrew Ravelo, Benjamin Greer, Jason Miller, Derek Wheeler, and Cairham Diaz.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season? We believe we are setting ourselves to obtain our team goals and work everyday to be the best players that we can be.

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