Boomer Elmsdale
Fri, February 16, 2024 at 07:02 AM
As the new high school baseball season approaches, fans and players alike are eager to see what West Valley High School has in store. With a dedicated and experienced coaching staff led by Head Coach Brian Surritt, the team is poised to make a run at a CIF playoff berth. Coach Surritt sat down with us to give a glimpse into what we can expect from the West Valley baseball team this year. Coach Surritt's goal for the team this season is the same as it is every year: to improve as the season progresses and to make a strong push for a CIF playoff berth. In order to achieve this, the team will need to stay healthy with their pitchers and have their younger players step up and believe in themselves. Fortunately, the team has a solid core of returning players to build upon. Junior Caden Bridwell, a three-year starter, is the team's #1 pitcher, top shortstop, and #3 hitter. Travis Favorite, a key player since his freshman year, returns as the cleanup hitter and first baseman. Sophomore Nate Navarrete, who made an impact as a freshman last year, will continue to lead off and play centerfield. In addition to their returning players, the West Valley team will also benefit from the addition of two new players. Junior Jacob Roman transfers in from Santa Ana and will play middle infield and pitch. Sophomore Maximus Vega joins the team from Moreno Valley and will play third base and pitch as well. When it comes to picking players for the team, Coach Surritt looks for individuals who have a genuine love for their teammates and who want to lead with dedication and without personal agendas. This year's captains will be Juniors Vince Figueroa and Travis Favorite, who exemplify these qualities. Team bonding and chemistry are important aspects of the West Valley program. The team starts practicing and lifting weights together in the fall and does various team trips and functions throughout the year to help build camaraderie. Coach Surritt also invites successful alumni, such as 2018 graduate Andre Granville who plays AAA for the St. Louis Cardinals, to speak to the team and motivate them with their own success stories. While the team has faced some challenges during their preseason, such as having both of their fields renovated at the same time and dealing with rainy weather, they are excited about their upcoming schedule.