While Walt Weiss gets used to his new digs as manager of the Colorado Rockies, his old team — Regis Jesuit — gets used to life without him.

In his one season as head coach, the former major leaguer guided the Raiders into the final four of last season’s Class 5A baseball championship series before they were knocked out by eventual champion Cherry Creek.

In the offseason, Weiss took the head job with the Rockies and a few months later, Regis Jesuit replaced him with a more-than-adequate candidate in Mike Anderson, a former head coach at the University of Nebraska.

Anderson felt extremely fortunate to come into the 2013 season with the roster of the returning talent headed by Weiss’ son, Brody, who has signed with University of California-Santa Barbara.

“It’s been a smooth transition and a lot of it has to do with the leadership of Brody Weiss,” Anderson said of his All-Colorado shortstop, who hit .421 last season with a team-best 30 RBI.

“There have been no walls put up, so it’s been phenomenal,” he added. “We have pretty high expectations and our goal is to be the best in the state as some point. Hopefully we’re playing our best at the end of the year.”

Brody Weiss teams with another all-stater in junior second baseman Max George in a middle infield that is unmatched around the state. George — who has verbally committed to Oregon State University — had a .541 average last season and led the Raiders in all major offensive categories except RBI. He homered seven times out of the leadoff spot in the lineup.

Add in Arizona State-bound junior Reagan Todd and a variety of others and Regis Jesuit has punch at the plate.

The Raiders had two ace pitchers last season in Peter Bayer and David Peterson and the pair helped take them on their deep postseason run. Bayer now pitches at the University of Richmond, while the left-handed Peterson is back at the head of the Regis Jesuit rotation.

Peterson — who has been selected for the 2013 Under Armour All-American Game in August — verbally committed to the University of Oregon in the offseason. He is 11-4 in two seasons as a starter.

Aurora’s other championship series qualifier from last season, Grandview, experienced significant turnover due to graduation from a team that went 20-4, but coach Dean Adams believes the program can remain among the elite mix it has been lately.

Senior outfielder Reece Weber (5-for-8, three extra base hits in his first two games) and senior shortstop Jake Thurston  (.366 last season) are the catalysts for the Wolves, who hope to pitch well enough to contend with nemesis Cherry Creek — which ended their season last year in the 5A championship series — in the Centennial League.

“I want a ring, no doubt,” Weber said after the Wolves’ opened with a 7-6 walk-off loss to Cherry Creek on March 28. “I’m pushing our guys hard in practice. I know we’re that good and I know we can be great and bring the first title to Grandview.”

Coach Scott Henry doesn’t always know where his Smoky Hill team will get offense — which has made just about all of the Buffaloes early season contests low-scoring — but he believes his team will pitch and defend well all season as it has in a 4-1 start.

Sophomore right-hander JR McDermott has been a pleasant surprise on the mound in the early going and fits into a pitching mix that includes senior Trey Reineke — who will assume more of a closer role this season as he comes back from an arm injury — plus Hank Hyde and Ryan Vasina.

The Buffaloes are strong up the middle defensively with senior Grayson Heath at shortstop and senior Cameron Stupansky at second base, plus senior speedster Jeff Gillis in center field.

A batting lineup that has generated just 25 runs in five games — with 11 coming in one contest — has Henry in the mindset of station-to-station offense.

Overland got off to a 4-2 start with a good mix of experience and grit in the first season under Mike Prichard, who takes over for longtime coach Don Parker.

The Trailblazers feature one of the most respected pitchers in the Centennial League in junior left-hander Dario Villagomez, who posted four of Overland’s six victories last season and finished with a 2.69 ERA in 52 innings of work.

Cherokee Trail is always in the mix with depth and talent, but coach Allan Dyer’s team has let a few winnable games slip away in the early going. Senior Ben John, Jordan Smith and Madison McIntosh should help lift the Cougars in Centennial League play.

Eaglecrest won its final two games of last season to get to six total, marking a big step forward coach Tory Humphrey expects to continue.

Rangeview returns senior Tim Ealy and junior Dylan Greenwald for a run at the EMAC title, while Gateway seniors Chris Cronsell and Miguel Gonzalez should make the Olys competitive.

Vista PEAK makes its varsity debut on the diamond, with coach Pat Rock — who also serves as the new Aurora school’s football coach — seeking to help the Bison lay roots in the Colorado 7 league as a 4A team.

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at sports@aurorasentinel.com or 303-750-7555


Class 5A Championship series: May 17-18, May 24-25

Aurora baseball players to watch: Christian Collins, Overland, sr.; RHP/OF; Chris Cronsell, Gateway, sr., INF; Michael Dziurgot, Cherokee Trail, jr., RHP/INF; Tim Ealy, Rangeview, sr., OF; Max George, Regis Jesuit, jr., INF; Miguel Gonzalez, Gateway, sr., RHP/INF; Dylan Greenwald, Rangeview, jr., RHP/INF; Grayson Heath, Smoky Hill, sr., INF; Zach Hegge, Hinkley, sr., RHP/INF; Ben John, Cherokee Trail, sr., C; Clayton Johnson, Eaglecrest, sr., RHP/OF; JR McDermott, Smoky Hill, soph., RHP; Madison McIntosh, Cherokee Trail, sr., INF; TJ Perez, Rangeview, sr., RHP/OF; David Peterson, Regis Jesuit, jr., LHP; Trey Reineke, Smoky Hill, sr., LHP/OF; Joe Slocum, Overland, jr., RHP/INF; Jordan Smith, Cherokee Trail, sr., RHP/OF; Jake Thurston, Grandview, sr., INF; Reagan Todd, Regis Jesuit, jr., INF Dario Villagomez, Overland, jr., LHP/OF; Reece Weber, Grandview, sr., OF; Brody Weiss, Regis Jesuit, sr., INF

Courtney Oakes is sports Editor and photographer with Sentinel Colorado. A Denver East High School alum. He came to the Sentinel in 2001 and since then has received a number of professional awards from...

8 replies on “Baseball: Raiders, Wolves aim to stay among elite”

  1. Pingback: bisiklet
  2. Pingback: sex izle
  3. Pingback: sikiş izle

Comments are closed.