PLAYERS TO KNOW

Will Amen, Sr., Longmont: Went 4-1 on the mound and hit .344 for the Trojans last season, and after a strong summer is looking like the ultimate dual threat.

Michael Broz, Sr., Frederick: He does a little bit of everything for the Warriors. He pitches, plays infield and outfield, and batted .344 last season while leading the team in wins.

Caleb Crites, Sr., Erie: The Tigers had a breakout season last season despite an injured projected ace. That’s because Crites stepped in and went 7-2 with a 3.39 ERA.

Cameron Frazier, Sr., Fairview: The consistent threat, who can capably man down the middle infield and center field, is headed to San Jacinto.

Lucas Gilbreath, Sr., Legacy: The power-armed left-hander struck out a spellbinding 93 batters in 48 innings last season and has signed with Minnesota.

Devlin Granberg, Sr., Holy Family: A standout for several seasons with the Tigers, the shortstop has committed to Creighton and is nearing, or has surpassed, several team records.

Kyle Holbrook, Sr., Broomfield: A gap-to-gap threat, the Dartmouth-bound center fielder hit .466 with 10 extra-base hits and 23 RBIs last season.

Bryan Meek, Sr., Niwot: In addition to producing a 3-1 record on the mound last season, Meek hit .369 for a Cougars team that qualified for the postseason.

Grant Rogers, Jr., Boulder: Although golf might be his calling, it’s tough to ignore the potential ceiling of a hardworking, 6-foot-6 right-hander who is gaining command.

Adam Reigle, Sr., Skyline: He was the Falcons’ MVP as a freshman and never has stopped hitting. Also a golfer, he is concentrating on signing for baseball.

Logan Soole, Jr., Monarch: A shoulder injury mostly derailed his sophomore season, but the left-handed pitcher/standout outfielder is geared to make up for it this spring.

 

 

POSTSEASON INFORMATION

May 10: District tournaments (5A, 4A, 3A, 2A).

May 17: Opening rounds of double-elimination state tournament (5A, 4A and 3A); 2A regional tournament; 1A championship game.

May 23-24: Championship weekend of double-elimination state tournament (5A, 4A and 3A). 2A championship game on May 24.

 

 

TEAM-BY-TEAM OUTLOOK

BOULDER PANTHERS

Coach: Colt Sedbrook (first year)

Last year: 7-11

Returning starters: Tommy Baumgartner, Sr., IF; Luke Bukowski, Sr., Util.; Grant Dinkel, Sr., P/1B; Francis Lanzano, Sr., IF; Grant Rogers, Jr., P; Connor Stowe, Sr., OF.

Others to watch: Andrew McCarthy, Jr., SS; Dana Sullivan, Fr., OF.

Outlook: After ending the season with a player boycott and then a coach dismissal last spring, the Panthers are looking to get back to making news on the field. A strong contingent of players return, and enthusiasm is high under the new guidance of Sedbrook, a former Broomfield and University of Arizona standout. The Panthers are aiming to make immediate headway in the Front Range League.


BROOMFIELD EAGLES

Coach: Garren Estes (11th year)

Last year: 11-9 (lost to Cheyenne Mountain in 4A first round)

Returning starters: Cole Biesterfield, Sr., OF/P; Kyle Holbrook, Sr., OF; Tanner Thomas, Sr., 3B/P.

Others to watch: Carlos Amador, Jr., IF/P; Caleb Cox, Jr., C.

Outlook: While Holbrook’s booming bat returns, the Eagles will have to compensate for a significant turnover after graduation. The Eagles typically retool quickly, however, so another run at a high finish in the Northern League is not out of the question. A question mark will be the consistency of the pitching and whether the Eagles can string together several solid outings in succession.


CENTAURUS WARRIORS

Coach: Aaron Allen (third year)

Last year: 11-8

Returning starters: Justin Angevine, Sr., C; Tristan Archuleta, Sr., SS; Billy Miles, Sr., OF; David Neitenbach, Jr., DH.

Others to watch: Kyle Guerrero, Sr., P; Balin Jessup, Jr., 2B; Izzy Miles, Jr., 3B; Kristian Williams, Sr., OF; Max Williams, So., 1B.

Outlook: The Warriors jumped from one win in Allen’s first season to 11 times that many last season, as the program began to form its foundation. Allen again faces challenges this year in that he’ll only have four players with varsity experience on the roster. In addition, projected left-handed starting pitcher Neitenbach will only DH for the time being as he recovers from a torn labrum suffered during the hockey season with Monarch.


DAWSON SCHOOL MUSTANGS

Coach: Joe McKenzie (first year)

Last year: 3-11

Returning starters: Liam Angus, Jr., 3B; Tanner Fulkerson, So., SS/P, Max McClellan, So., C/P.

Others to watch: Jake Blank, Jr., P/1B

Outlook: When teams indicate they are going to be young in a certain season, they’ve got nothing on the Mustangs. Dawson has zero seniors and two juniors. Couple the inexperience with the addition of a new coach, and the spring largely will equate to a learning process for the Mustangs.


ERIE TIGERS

Coach: Harold Simmons (sixth year)

Last year: 15-6 (lost to Montrose in 4A second round)

Returning starters: Coltin Brink, Sr., SS/P; Dylan Brink, Sr., OF; Caleb Crites, Sr., P; B.J. Jensen, Jr., OF; Eli Willden, Sr., IF.

Others to watch: Kyle Leahy, Jr., P/SS; Trevor Lee, So., OF; Joe Ramey, Sr., OF/P.

Outlook: The Tigers will benefit from Leahy’s return from a Pars fracture that sidelined him from most of last season. Leahy was a standout pitcher and shortstop his freshman season. Erie still put together a fine season in 2013, one that ended on a controversial play against Montrose with a state-tournament berth in the balance.


FAIRVIEW KNIGHTS

Coach: Rick Harig (22nd year)

Last year: 12-8 (lost to Legend in 5A first round)

Returning starters: Cannon Casey, Sr., C; Jeff Clarke, Sr., 1B; Steve D’Epagnier, DH/1B, Jr.; Johnny Feauto, Jr., IF/P; Cameron Frazier, Sr., IF; Walker Harris, Jr., OF; Ryan Kokora, Sr., P; Ryan Madden, Jr., IF/P; Tim Ryan, Jr., OF.

Others to watch: Jake Kearney, Sr., Util; Jake Thoning, Jr., Util.; Mike Vlasity, Sr., P.

Outlook: With almost everyone back, the Knights should be in the hunt for one of the Front Range League’s top seeds. The experienced squad has an enviable mix of gap hitters and power hitters, as well as a bevy of reliable gloves in the field. The Knights made a four-game improvement last season and hopes to continue the climb this spring.


FREDERICK WARRIORS

Coach: Ted Clapp (10th year)

Last year: 7-12

Returning starters: Ryan Cawthra, Sr., C; Michael Broz, Sr., P/Util; Tristan Montano, Jr., 3B; Eric Worley, Jr., SS; Brandon Zuniga, Jr., P/OF.

Others to watch: Mitch Held, Sr., OF/P; Lane Hiser, Jr., IF; Brandon Schaa, Sr., P.

Outlook: The Warriors will play their first full season on their new diamond, and they are hoping the results will have a sharp new edge as well. They jumped onto the new digs during the season last year, and often spent a lot of energy simply getting the field in playing shape. With that on the backburner, the large contingent of holdovers will aim to make up for the graduation of standout Jaron Balman.


HOLY FAMILY TIGERS

Coach: Eric Nakayama (first year)

Last year: 22-4 (won 3A state championship)

Returning starters: Austin Brown, Jr., P/OF; Zach Dedin, Sr., IF; Matt Erb, Sr., IF; Devlin Granberg, Sr., SS; Chris McManus, Sr., C; Connor Stanley, Sr., OF; Zach Trombley, Sr., IF/P; Jacob Tinnon, Sr., OF.

Others to watch: Nick Kreutzer, Jr., P/IF.

Outlook: Preseason prognoses don’t get much brighter than this one. The Tigers return eight of their nine starters from their championship team and have 11 seniors overall, including the Creighton-bound Granberg. Granted, longtime skipper Marc Cowell no longer is in charge, but Nakayama’s ties to the program — 10 seasons as Cowell’s assistant — figure to make it a smooth transition.


JEFFERSON ACADEMY JAGUARS

Coach: Ron Naylor (second year)

Last year: 7-12

Returning starters: Jake Barlow, Jr., 3B; Josh Buckley, Jr., OF; Tyler Gray, Jr., OF; Steven Kolberg, Sr., OF; Will Schmidt, Sr., 1B.

Others to watch: Brandon Arellano, So., C/IF; Dalton Cook, So., C/IF; Casey Lindholm, Fr., C/P; John Mahoney, So., 2B.

Outlook: The Jaguars struggled in the rugged 3A/2A Metro League last season, but Naylor still increased their overall wins by four in his first season at the helm. With a plentiful contingent of youngsters, they’ll look to make headway, although immediate progress will be tough to gauge against opponents such as Holy Family and Faith Christian.


LEGACY LIGHTNING

Coach: Ty Giordano (sixth year)

Last year: 13-7 (lost to Northglenn in 5A first round)

Returning starters: Jared Crockett, Jr., P/OF; Lucas Gilbreath, Sr., P/OF; Micahel Miyaski, Sr., 2B; Hunter Parnell, Sr., OF/P; Devin Payne, Sr., SS/P; Wyatt Cross, Jr., C/1B.

Others to watch: Nicholas Nash, Jr., C/P; Mikey Straface, Sr., OF/P.

Outlook: The Lightning has a bona fide ace in the Minnesota-bound Gilbreath, and that’s a good place to start. The squad has several additional arms to deploy, so if the remainder of the staff can scratch out a few wins, the Lightning should be in good shape for a playoff berth. Crockett hit .316 as a sophomore and is among the finest hitters returning to the lineup.


LONGMONT TROJANS

Coach: Tom Fobes (15th year)

Last year: 12-8 (lost to Valor Christian in 4A first round)

Returning starters: Will Amen, Sr., P/2B; Kyler Leroux, Sr., OF; Brett Sterkel, Sr., P/1B; Cameron Yee, Sr., OF.

Others to watch: Andrew Bladt, Sr., SS/P; Barrett Ingvaldsen, Jr., Util; Nick Madrid, Jr., OF/P; Cooper Rothe, So., OF; Spencer Zuege, Sr., 1B/P.

Outlook: The Trojans return their top two pitchers in Sterkel and Leroux, who accounted for nine of their wins last season, as well as RBI leader Leroux. They are part of a solid senior class that could mesh well if some underclassmen capably man down a few key spots. The Trojans are regulars to the postseason and there’s no reason to think that trend won’t continue.


LONGMONT CHRISTIAN WARRIORS

Coach: Victor Puchino (second year)

Last year: 5-10

Returning starters: Josiah Bolyard, Sr., OF; Parker Liske, Sr., SS; Cade Martin, So., C/OF; Anthony Puchino, Jr., 1B/3B; Sam West, Sr., Util.

Others to watch: Clayton Eldred, Fr., 1B/OF; Luke Puchino, Fr., 2B/P

Outlook: Numbers are increasing for the Warriors, who had 21 players come out this season. That means they will have a handful of junior varsity innings to go around. Only one win returns from the pitching staff — that was by West — so the Warriors will have to find a few consistent starters. They also are aiming to improve on their .272 batting average from last season.


LYONS LIONS

Coach: Kenneth Rosales (second year)

Last year: 2-14

Returning starters: Heath Fesenmeyer, Sr., IF; Bowe Herman, Jr., C; Hector Rodriguez, Jr., IF; Logan Watson, Sr., OF.

Others to watch: Karson Kelly, Jr., P.

Outlook: While the Lions figured they’d take some lumps last season, this spring doesn’t appear so bleak. Eight players who received starting time are back, including standouts Watson and Fesenmeyer. The Lions lineup will able to stroke the ball, but the first order of business will be lowering the pitching staff’s 10-plus ERA.


MEAD MAVERICKS

Coach: Wes Sells (first year)

Last year: 6-12

Returning starters: Easton Adler, So., IF; Cody Beaver, Sr., P, Dillon Buckendorf, Jr., OF; Hunter Leise, Sr., OF; Griffin Nelson, Sr., P; Tyler Rennison, Sr., 3B; Austin Van Hooker, Sr., IF.

Others to watch: Kyle Couch, Sr., OF; Justin Nelson, Jr., P.

Outlook: Under the new guidance of Sells, the Mavericks will deploy two left-handers at the top of the rotation in Beaver and Nelson. In addition, much of the group has played together for several seasons, so the Mavericks could begin to make headway in the standings, as they did in football and basketball.


MONARCH COYOTES

Coach: Scott Weiss (third year)

Last year: 12-8 (lost in 5A first round to Smoky Hill).

Returning starters: Gerrit Elzinga, Sr., P/OF; Eric Love, Sr., P/3B; Matt Malkin, Sr., C; Kyle Scholtz, Jr., SS; Logan Soole, Jr., P/OF.

Others to watch: Billy Fudale, Sr., P; Jacob Stockebrand, Jr., P/1B.

Outlook: The return to health of Soole will be huge. The projected ace and key outfielder last season, Soole mostly was on DH duty because of an injured shoulder. His resurgence gives the Coyotes two left-handers at the top of the rotation, along with Elzinga. The Coyotes will have to replace the all-state bat of Cole Maltese, who signed with Pepperdine but since has transferred to Northern Colorado.


NIWOT COUGARS

Coach: Craig McBride (fifth year)

Last year: 10-10 (lost to Durango in 4A first round)

Returning starters: Danny Caruso, Sr., P/OF; Kai Halsey Mendez, Sr., IF; Pate Katechis, Sr., 3B/P; Alex Kinnison, Sr., 1B; Tanner Kirkpatrick, Sr., C; Bryan Meek, Sr., P/SS.

Others to watch: Aldora a Cintora, Sr., P; Cameron Kopplinger, Sr., IF/P; Skyler Messenger, Fr., IF; Drew Pasma, Sr., OF; Joey Wilson, So., IF.

Outlook: The Cougars qualified for the postseason last season when a technicality was overturned in their favor, but they are hoping not to cut it so close this time. Many contributors return from that squad, and the Cougars are trying to slowly transition back to their powerhouse days, when they were a feared unit every time they arrived on the diamond.


PEAK TO PEAK PUMAS

Coach: Tim Combs (eighth year)

Last year: 12-8 (lost to Cedaredge in 3A first round)

Returning starters: Blake Bride, So., OF; Cos Braswell, Sr., Util; Seth Bussinger, Jr., 3B; John Howard, Sr., SS; Taylor Jackson, Sr., C; Nick Kelly, Sr., P/OF; Jack Walthers, Jr., OF.

Others to watch: Alex Bradfield, Fr., OF; Nick Kakavas, Jr., P/1B; Mitchell Ward, Jr., Util.

Outlook: The Pumas will have to replace their top two horses at the top of the rotation and a four-year starting catcher, but return virtually everyone else. This will be a gritty outfit that puts the ball in play, and Kakavas is an emerging, tall left-hander that will give opponents fits. While the Pumas will be solid, they will have to gradually morph into a squad that can compete with those in the upper echelon of the Metro League.


SILVER CREEK RAPTORS

Coach: Trevor Platt (13th year)

Last year: 1-18

Returning starters: Kyle Barth, Sr., OF/P; Zach Brown, OF/P, Jr.; Dakota Ludwig, Sr., 3B; Sebastian Metcalf, Sr., OF; Scott Platt, Sr., SS/P; Brock Ricks, Sr., P/OF; Matt Siedem, Sr., C.

Others to watch: Jesse Leyva, Sr., 3B; Capper Newton, Jr., 2B/P.

Outlook: The proud program fell on hard times last year, but they are out to prove it was only an anomaly, not the norm. Eight varsity players return, and enthusiasm is running high as the season begins. Platt has signed with Northeastern Junior College and is at the forefront of a Raptors lineup that is eager to gain headway in the rugged 4A Northern League.


SKYLINE FALCONS

Coach: Mike Hoog (ninth year)

Last year: 11-8

Returning starters: Garret Angstead, Sr., Util.; Tyler Brenneman, Jr., 2B; Justin Forsyth, Jr., OF; Tyler Hamby, Jr., SS; Adam Reigle, Sr., OF; Aaron Soriano, Sr., P/1B.

Others to watch: Matt Bulow, So., Util; Thomas Hoog, Jr., C/P; Blake Pair, Sr., OF.

Outlook: The Falcons increased their win total by eight last season and returning many of the players responsible for the turnaround. Longtime catcher Angstead will more often play third base and outfield this season when not on the mound, while Reigle remains one of the Tri-Valley League’s top hitters. On a disappointing note, junior Andrew Stoops (.358 average last season) will miss this spring due to Tommy John surgery.

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