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Life Lessons

Starting pitcher Daniel Villegas went the distance to win the game 5-2 against Alvarez.

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Life Lessons

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After finishing last season with 15 wins in league and winning a league title, the team had to find a new coach after Coach Graham Santiago was offered a position to coach at Hartnell College. Luckily, they didn’t have to look far, as assistant head coach Bernie Castaneda stepped up.

Expectations were high coming into the season. “That was the first league title since 1995 and the third one in school history,” said Castaneda.

After staying in the Gavilan Division, Castaneda was counting on returning players Sergio Sandoval, Josiah Ramos, Eduardo Garcia, Sal Lopez, and Xavier Valenzuela to lead the team back to CCS.

The team got off to a shaky start at 2-2 during preseason. They proved that they could get better and improve their mistakes going 6-2 in league play. Senior Eduardo Garcia said, “Preseason games are where you get to see what you need to work on to enter physically and mentally ready for league.”

Castaneda’s goals for this season are to teach the team what it takes to be a successful student, as well as a successful athlete. ‘I want to give them a work ethic, an understanding of the game, the ability to make adjustments to be successful and the mental strength that is needed to play baseball,” said Castaneda. Sergio Sandoval said that his biggest goal this year is to bring home another league title.

Most of the team, including the coach, agreed that they were looking forward to playing against Alvarez. They described the game being intense because they are Alisal’s biggest rivals. “Since the game always gets intense, my teammates and I get pumped to bring home the W,” said Garcia. The Trojans split the first two games against the Eagles and hope to capture the series at the end of April.

Castaneda, in his eighteenth year coaching at the high school level, said that a challenge is that there are so many ups and downs. It will come down to how quickly the student/athletes can bounce back from a bad day at the plate, a hitting slump, a bad day on the mound. The quicker they can put the bad event behind them the better they will be mentally. Daniel Villegas said, “There is little time to make improvements, so it’s important we do not make any mental or physical mistakes.” Along with Villegas, Kai Tovas says that the team needs to break bad habits and create more helpful ones.

The league score as of now is 12-2 and the overall record is 14-6.

By Monica Espinoza

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