Four-time Division IV defending state champion Pahranagat Valley prepares for the 2014 season with but one senior on the team. But, according to coach Brad Loveday they “have a great group of young players and we’ll be competitive again.”
Gone are League Co-MVP Tyson Sparrow, who along with pitcher Tyler Higbee helped the Panthers to a 23-6 record and first in the Southern League at 12-0.
Loveday, entering his 21st season, has six starters returning from last years squad as well as five other veterans.
Top players figure to be SS/P Wade Leavitt (Jr.), 1B/P Paden Higbee (Jr.), P Jeremy Minick (Jr.), 2B Caleb Hansen (Jr.), C Jordan Cryts (Jr.), OF Jake Carter (Sr.), OF/P Shawn Wadsworth (So.)
Alamo begins the season this weekend hosting the Panther Classic. Six teams will be involved including Pahranagat, West Wendover, Virgin Valley JV, Eureka, Moapa Valley JV, and Pahrump JV.
Pahranagat opened the tourney on Thursday against West Wendover, and played again Friday morning against Virgin Valley.
Pool play will be held on Friday, and the tournament concludes on Saturday with the championship at 7 p.m.
All games will be five innings or a two-hour time limit.
Following the Panther Classic, Pahranagat plays at Rancho JV in Las Vegas on March 18.
At Lincoln County, second year coach Raymond Wadsworth welcomes seven starters among the nine returning letterman for the team.
The top players Wadsworth says will be team leaders include Colton Johnson C/P (Sr.), Derek Shumway utilityman (Jr.), Preston Robbins 2B/P (Jr.), Chris Florence OF (Jr.), Zack Shinkle 3B, (Sr.), Mike Wood 1B (So.), McClain O’Connor, SS/P, (So.).
“I have high hopes and high expectations,” says Wadsworth. “We look forward to competing in every game with every team we play.”
Dell O’Connor, Dane Bradfield, and Robert Rowe will be assistant coaches.
Lincoln opens the season this Friday and Saturday at the Sun Devil Invitational at Eldorado High in Las Vegas.
On March 18, Lincoln hosts Calvary Chapel in the opening of the league season at 1 and 3 pm.
Lincoln was 12-9 last year, 8-4 Southern League, and got into the playoffs, but did not advance to the state tournament.