In a ‘rebuilding year’ the varsity baseball team made it all the way back to the Section championship game.
Under a new coach, the varsity softball team made it to the playoffs and nailed down a couple of victories in the postseason.
The season was a very successful one for both Cougar squads, as the varsity baseball team took home the Trans-Valley League title and ultimately took second in the D-V section race, and the varsity softball team, under first year head coach Art Brooks, went to the playoffs for the first time in the few years.
Baseball coach Greg Largent was thrilled with his team’s effort and performance, noting that they “overachieved” in a year where they had to fill the gaps after losing many seniors to graduation last year.
“This was supposed to be a rebuilding year,” he admitted.
For Escalon, that translates into being competitive and fighting to the last out.
Honored for their work on the diamond this season were Tad Dimas, Vince Valenzuela, Phillip Kimble and Garrett Denczek, named as All-TVL players. The Pitcher of the Year for the TVL was Brent Montgomery, while Nathan Chunn was the Most Outstanding Defensive Player in the league and Robbie Steves was the TVL MVP.
Team awards went to Steves as MVP and to Kimble and Montgomery as co-winners of the Chris Martinez Most Inspirational Player award. Most improved honors went to Denczek, Dimas and Alec Nerland, with the George Williamson most dedicated plaque going to Valenzuela. Coaches awards went to Luis Estrada and Kevin Gregorio, with Golden Gloves going to Nerland, Chunn, Dimas and Steves.
On the varsity softball diamond, the team came together for a late surge in Trans-Valley League action to qualify for the playoffs. Coach Art Brooks said he was pleased the team reached their goal of getting to the postseason, but that just made them hungrier for more next season.
Senior Marissa Dominguez, who had a breakout season on the mound, said the guidance of Brooks was instrumental to her success this year and she agreed the team as a whole worked well together to achieve their goal. Award winners for softball included Dominguez as the team MVP, with Adalia Cajias the defensive MVP and Lexis Prim the offensive MVP. Most inspirational honors went to Illiana Cajias, the most improved award was presented to Kymberly Tompson and the coaches award went to Kristin Beckman.
Next week: Winners of this year’s top Senior Athletic Awards – The Hall-Loureiro Most Inspirational Athlete and the Lloyd C. Engel Outstanding Senior Athlete – will be featured.