A familiar feeling in baseball

March 19, 2009 — by Guy Quanrud

This could be the season for the varsity baseball team. For the first time in several years, the group is made up predominately of seniors, who hope to turn the program around and end their high school careers with a winning season.

Senior left fielder Justin El-Diwany said because most of the players are the same age, the team has great chemistry, which may lead to a title run.

“We have very high hopes for the team this year,” said El-Diwany. “We have a lot of seniors and a lot of us have been playing together for a while.”

The other seniors joining El-Diwany include Casey Farmer, Christian Biederman, Mat Spencer, Marcus Lefton, Alex Wokas, Scott Thoren, Matthew Brading, Michael Guercio, Joey Avery and Alex Shebanow. Most of them have played ball together since Little League.

Not only does the team find itself newly committed to the sport, they are also excited to be working with a new coaching staff. After two seasons under head coach Ray Burney, the team has a new head coach Manny Steffon and assistant coach Travis Hatfield.

“[Steffon] does the same drills, pitching and hitting,” said Biederman. “The only difference is that he has different strategies, and he’s more aggressive.”

The pitching rotation includes Avery, Wokas, sophomore Dillan Pak, Lefton, and Spencer.

In the first game of preseason play, the seniors came out firing, crushing Leland 11-4 on Feb. 26th. Lefton knocked out a home run, and Wokas, sophomore Dillan Pak, Farmer and Lefton shined in the combined pitching effort.

With a new coaching staff in charge, Thoren said the Falcons hope to play better than they have in the past, potentially winning the El Camino League Championships and heading to CCS. They just ask for one thing: support.

“I think it’s going to be a great year,” said Thoren. “I just hope a lot of people come out and watch us play ball.”