New Coach, New Hopes for Juan Diego Baseball
Apr 07, 2016 01:57PM
● By Ron Bevan
By Ron Bevan | firstname.lastname@example.org
Draper - With a new coaching staff at the helm, Juan Diego High School is looking to make a bigger splash in 3A baseball this season.
Kellen Carsey has taken over the head coaching duties for Juan Diego. Carsey is no stranger to high school baseball, having coached last season at one of the top Utah 5A baseball schools, Taylorsville — where he also played when he was in high school.
“I am excited to be here at Juan Diego and to work with this program,” Carsey said. “Everything is new to me here. I have noticed, though, that we have some very good players, and I think they will respond to our coaching ideas.”
Juan Diego is hoping to improve upon last year’s performance, when the Soaring Eagles finished third in region play and lost both of their 3A state tournament games.
Carsey is getting help in his quest by a large group of senior athletes. There are nine seniors on this year’s team, and all have already taken the torch of leadership for helping the younger players.
“We will be relying on the seniors this season for leadership not only on but off the field as well,” Carsey said. “They have shown a good deal of leadership already throughout the winter off-season stuff we do as well as leading into the season.”
Leading the defense is senior catcher Josh Glenn, who brings his varsity experience to a key position on the diamond.
“Our pitching staff is young, and Glenn is helping keep them calm and working through their pitches,” Carsey said. “He is a key to our defensive success.”
Glenn is also one of the top offensive players for Juan Diego. As a junior last year, Glenn led the team in extra base hits. He nailed two home runs and one triple. He added seven doubles to his batting last season.
Seasoned centerfielder Brad Bojack is anchoring the outfield, and the infield has three seniors in the starting lineup. Jorge Rico, Conner McNulty and Danny Wilson are all veteran infielders.
Juan Diego is a bit young in the pitching staff but does have some experienced hurlers on the mound. Junior Phil Hamel is back, as is sophomore Colby Finn, who pitched varsity as a freshman.
“The pitching crew is quite young, so we will be relying on quite a few guys to get us through,” Carsey said. “Some may not pitch full games because of their age and experience, but I think by using a mixture of pitchers we will be competitive.”
Hitting is what may help the Soaring Eagles turn things around from last season. Besides Glenn, Bojack and senior Alex Hoffman are leading the batters.
“The batting lineup has a mix of some big hitters,” Carsey said. “We are solid from one through nine. Several of the players can hit the ball hard.”
Because he is new to Juan Diego, Carsey hasn’t picked up yet on who the top teams will be. As such, he is taking a positive approach to each game.
“We are going to take every single game as a tough game, especially in regions,” Carsey said. “We are going to view every opponent as the toughest opponent of the season. We want to make a run at a region championship, so we are going to use the mindset to get us there.”