The spring sports season begins this week for the Pahranagat Valley High School (PVHS) girls softball and track. Baseball will begin next week, March 15.
Coach Mike Sparrow begins his 18th season with PVHS girls softball, and the six-time state champions look to have a strong squad for 2019.
The Lady Panthers were 22-6 last year, 8-0 in the 1A Southern League.
They return 10 lettermen and five starters from last year’s team.
The top players are expected to be SS Morgan Harris (Sr.), 3B Jessica Brede (Jr.), P Mariah Zander (Jr.), OF Hannah Castleton (Sr.) and OF Emily Hansen (Sr.)
“After losing five solid starters from last year’s team, we will be looking to rebuild our pitching and catching staff,” Sparrow said. “We return nine players with postseason experience that we will rely on as we look to fill other key positions defensively and in the batting lineup. We are excited for the challenge of incorporating eight players new to the program this year. As a program, we expect to be playing in the postseason and contending for another state championship.”
The Panthers begin the season this weekend, weather permitting, hosting a doubleheader with Round Mountain.
March 15-16, the Lady Panthers are expecting to host a five-team tournament with Beaver Dam, Eureka, Wells and the White Pine JVs.
In the meantime, the Panther baseball team has another week of practice before opening their season with a four-team tournament in Alamo, March 15-16, with Beaver Dam, Eureka and Wells.
Coach Brad Loveday will begin his 26th season as coach with 12 returning lettermen and six starters from the team that was 20-8, 5-1 in the 1A South and state runner-up to Indian Springs.
Loveday said his top returning players will be P/SS Stockton Maxwell (Sr.), P/OF Preston Higbee (Jr.), OF/P Jesse Jones (Jr.) and 3B John Hansen (Jr.)
The Panthers have played in the Class 1A state championship game each of the last three years, were runners-up last year, and should be primed for a successful season again this year. “We should be very competitive in our league,” Loveday said.
PVHS track coach Wade Poulsen was not available for comment, but the track team begins the season this Friday at the Bulldog Early Bird Invitational at Virgin Valley High School in Mesquite.
Junior McKenzie Poulsen was the 2018 1A girls long jump and triple jump state champion.