Following a canceled 2020 high school baseball season, Fairview has returned with a stacked roster, high aspirations and a centered outlook.
“Right now, we’re pretty locked in,” said JD Jones, the team catcher committed to the University of Miami.
Even with a pandemic-shortened slate, the Knights may be playing for a while this spring thanks to their laundry list of talent — perhaps even deep into a postseason run.
A sunflower seed-spit away from each other, Jones is accompanied on roster by three longtime friends who also happen to be touted Division-I prospects. The four-front includes Adam Moser in the outfield, junior standout Gabe Springer in the infield, and looking down at Jones — 60 feet, 6 inches away, to be exact — the ace with the rocket right arm, Greysen Carter.
All four have been named team captains prior to their first game. The focus for them, the other seniors, the entire roster and red-rowdy fanbase behind them — take 2021 for all its worth.
“It was pretty heartbreaking losing our last year,” Jones said. “So now we’re that much more motivated and more driven to make this season count. We’re not going to let this season go to waste.”
Pitchers, be aware. Once around the Knights’ lineup, you get Jones — committed to the Hurricanes — Carter — Vanderbilt — Moser — Oklahoma — and Springer — Stanford. All four have been listed as top state prospects by numerous outlets.
Last spring, Carter, Moser and Jones were all listed alongside Frederick’s Chase Prestwich in the top 10 of the state’s 2021 prospect rankings by PrepBaseballReport.com. On its Class of 2022 list, Springer made the top 10 along with Niwot’s Nicolas Yard.
“Those guys have worked really hard to get to that level,” Fairview coach David Castillo said. “In order to do that, they had a lot of commitment. And they model that in practice.”
Those guys make up just four of the Knights’ 10 returning starters. Among others are seniors Dillon Souvignier and Travis Rasmussen, who both hit north of .350 in limited at-bats in 2019. Another potential standout could be the school’s long-reigning No. 1 singles player in tennis, Luke Silverman.
Only time will tell how all of that will mend together after a long, arduous break.
The program will be looking to return to the state championship postseason bracket for the first time since 2014. The Knights haven’t won a state title since claiming their first and only in 1993.
“We’re not just going to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to win a state title, because that’s not how it’s done,” Jones said. “But that is definitely the light at the end of the tunnel for the season. We definitely have the talent. We just got to bring it together.”
Castillo said all four of his D-I guys will be seen as extensions of the coaching staff on the field this spring. Another volunteer coach on staff will be his father, Steve, who he coached with in Texas as the two led John Paul II High School to a state title in 2010.
His team last played in May of 2019, finishing the season 8-15. Its return to game action is expected to come at home against Rock Canyon Friday.