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Softball preview: Team-by-team capsules
We asked coaches to nominate someone to carry the flag for area softball teams if all local schools were to enter together into an event like the Olympic opening ceremonies. Here were some of the responses:
“Katelyn Soulier, she is a quintessential softball player. She possesses an obvious love for the game and a desire to learn and grow at every turn, all while maintaining a positive, winning attitude.” –Brett Brown, Coronado coach … “Jordon Rodriquez from Widefield. A very good player who works harder than anyone I know. She is a leader and a great role model.” –Becki Pepper, Rampart head coach … “Jeff Roberts, because his contributions to improving players in the city are second to none. Coach Roberts is the Quicksilver 18U head coach and offers a quality program that just about every school in the city benefits from in some fashion. The Quicksilver organization includes players of all levels beginner to elite. Coach Roberts may be responsible for getting more players to the next level than any other coach in Colorado Springs.” –Air Academy coach Chris Solarek … “Jared Welch, because he does everything in his power to make sure Wasson athletics receives what it needs. He puts the interest of the students before his own, and works tirelessly to provide them with a great experience.” –Wasson coach Mickey Solarek.
Other nominees: Kijana Tavares, Taylor Boyer, Sara Boyle, Chandler Herbst, Taylor Phelps, Skyeler Sheveland, Taryn Arcarese and Samantha Archuleta
Outlook for the 2012 softball season for teams that responded to a request for information from The Gazette:
Coach: Don Petrow (13th season)
2011 record: 4-15
Key players: Sara Boyle, sr.; Kelsey Rohlfing, sr., P; Bri Brettschneider, jr., P/IF; Emma Chesire, jr., IF/C.
Outlook: The Spartans have seven returning starters, including the middle of their infield, and expect to ride a strong pitching staff into contention for a league title.
Coach: Jennifer Daigneault (2nd season)
2011 record: 18-5 (state qualifier)
Key players: Brooklyne Harbert, sr., P/OF; Sidney Coleman, sr., OF; Amanda Jacques, sr., IF/P; Jayde Wilson, jr., OF; Lauren Salazar, IF/OF.
Outlook: The Trojans have a strong core of leaders among their upperclassmen, and all signs point to another great season.
Coach: Astrid McGill (4th season)
2011 record: 12-10
Key players: Hayleigh Alamo, soph., C/3B/SS/OF; Mariah Grijalva, soph., P; Summer White, jr., 1B/3B/P; Allie Hecker, jr., OF.
Outlook: A team decimated by the graduation of 11 seniors will have to rely on its young talent. Games against stiff competition in Denver, Pueblo and Grand Junction should make the Lancers battle tested by the time league play begins.
Coach: Stephen DeFelice (21st season)
2011 record: 10-9
Key players: Kaylene Ross, P/OF; Kara Flores, P/OF; Samantha Archuleta, C; Crissey Clowser, IF; Peyton Driscoll, SS.
Outlook: The Terrors have strong talent among their seven returning starters, including .400 hitters Archuleta and Clowser, but their biggest concern is lack of depth beyond those super seven.
Coach: Dave Warhoe (2nd season)
2011 record: 0-18
Key players: Chandler Herbst, sr., 2B; Stephanie Warhoe, SS; Kayla Boyd, 3B; Madeline McWhorter, CF; Miranda Martinez, P.
Outlook: The Eagles, with just one senior, will still be very young again this season, but expect to be much improved.
Coach: Becki Pepper (7th season)
2011 record: 10-9
Key players: Kara Jones, soph., C; Kelly Warmouth, soph., SS; Amanda Londo, soph., OF; Jenna Malone, jr., 1B/3B; Kaesha Harper, soph., 2B.
Outlook: The Rams will be young and talented this season and expect to contend for a league title.
Coach: Brett Brown (6th season)
2011 record: 7-12
Key players: Jessica Padilla, sr., P/3B; Kayla Marshall, sr., P/IF; Madison Silvey, jr., OF/IF; Laura McKibben, jr., OF; Katelyn Soulier, soph., C/IF/OF.
Outlook: With a mix of seasoned veterans and talented young players, the Cougars are optimistic and looking to challenge for a league title.
Coach: Al Bustillos (11th season)
2011 record: 14-5
Key players: Cody Stockert, sr., OF/C; Sammie Beam, sr., SS/P; Kelcee Witt, sr., 1B; Clorinda Roberts, soph., SS/P.
Outlook: With solid senior leadership, the Grizzlies could build on last year’s impressive season after losing just three seniors to graduation.
Coach: Sean Sorensen (1st season)
2011 record: 5-14
Key players: Courtney Wright, sr., C/1B; Josie Rodriguez, soph., 2B/P; Erica Anderson, sr., 1B/OF; Donisha Mackey, sr., 3B.
Outlook: The Marauders have seven returning letter-winners and a strong group of young players and should improve on last year’s record.
Coach: Maggie Dering (1st season)
2011 record: 3-15
Key players: Kijana Tivares, sr.; Jasmine Hebert, soph., C; Lucinda Wilson, soph., P; Brandi Russell, jr.; Jordyn Tuisasosopo, jr.
Outlook: With a new coach and a host of new, young players, the Stallions are looking to improve on last season.
Coach: Mickey Solarek (1st season)
2011 record: 1-16
Key players: N/A
Outlook: With a new coach, the Thunderbirds are optimistic and hopeful for an improved season in which they could surprise some top 4A squads.
Coach: Gary Foltz
2011 record: 15-8 (state qualifier)
Key players: Jordon Rodriguez, sr., SS.
Outlook: No team in the area was harder hit by graduation than Widefield, who lost 11 players from last year’s state qualifying squad. The Gladiators will lean heavily on the many talents of Rodriguez and look to a host of young players to produce quickly. The key to the season may be a quartet of untested pitchers.
4A PIKES PEAK
Coach: Chris Solarek (5th season)
2011 record: 11-10
Key players: Alaura Prenzlow, sr., C/3B; Katie Ryall, sr., UTIL; Kaley Holmes, jr., IF; Megan Horn, fr., P/IF.
Outlook: The Kadets should be competitive, but with six of eight Metro League playoff teams from last year now in the Pikes Peak League, it will be a battle.
Coach: Tanya Ramsey (6th season)
2011 record: 16-6 (state qualifier)
Key players: Taryn Arcarese, sr., SS; Kacee Schroeder, sr., P; McKenzie Peters, sr., OF; Shelby Hetzel, sr., OF; Mckenzie Surface, soph., P/IF.
Outlook: Led by CSML Player of the Year Arcarese (.462 avg) and Schroeder (11-5), among others, the Thunder is expected to make some big noise in 4A this season. The squad has a bad taste in its mouth from a first-round exit at state last year that will serve as ample motivation.
Coach: Kerri Millikan (3rd season)
2011 record: 14-8
Key players: Cora Buechner, sr., P/UTIL.
Outlook: Buechner is one of just five returning players, and the Falcons will rely on at least three freshmen to start early.
Coach: Duane Prinzing (4th season)
2011 record: 4-15
Key players: Victoria Monks-King, jr., C; Bria Daniels, jr., CF; Megan McAllister, jr., 1B; Bria Zentz, sr., 2B.
Outlook: With only five returning letter-winners, the Scorpions will rely on young players like Wren to shoulder the load in a highly competitive new league.
Coach: Summer Coombs (4th season)
2011 record: 13-9
Key players: Allison Anderson, sr., SS/P; Kellie Mrofcza, soph., SS/P; Kimmy Striebel, sr., OF.
Outlook: Anderson, Mrofcza and Striebel all batted above .500 last season and will provide much-needed leadership for a team that graduated five seniors and will need the contributions of incoming freshmen and former JV players.
Coach: Doug Arnold (1st season)
2011 record: 18-6
Key players: Morgan Thompson, P/SS; Carly Chaney, 1B; Haley Benker, P/SS; Baylee Reeves, 2B.
Outlook: Florence lost just four seniors from last year’s squad and, with a host of key returnees, should challenge for a league crown.
Coach: Dave Hyland (17th season)
2011 record: 11-9
Key players: Teaja Rivera, sr., P; Laina Salani, sr., Taylor Boyer, sr., 1B/C; Briana Martinez, jr., C/1B; Madison Hernez, sr., SS.
Outlook: Thanks to strong veteran leadership, the Pirates have their sights set on a state tournament berth.
Coach: Scott Dufaud (1st season)
2011 record: 1-16
Key players: Chrissy Lind, sr., IF/OF/P; Brianna Martinez, sr., P/IF; Skyeler Sheveland, jr., UTIL/P; Miriam Douma, sr., C; Taylor Phelps, sr., IF/P.
Outlook: There’s a new outlook and approach for the Titans this year with first-year head coach Scott Dufaud and a number of new players.