National Spring Preview Series Admin
Thu, February 15, 2024 at 14:26 PM
As the spring weather starts to warm up, the West Valley High School baseball team is gearing up for what they hope to be a successful season. With a strong mix of experienced players and promising newcomers, Coach Brian Surritt is optimistic about his team's chances this year. "Our goal, as it is every season, is to improve as the season progresses and to make a run at a CIF playoff berth," says Coach Surritt. "But our success will ultimately depend on our ability to stay healthy, especially with our pitchers, and get our young players to believe in themselves." Leading the pack of returners is junior Caden Bridwell, who is now a three-year starter and serves as the team's top pitcher, shortstop, and third hitter. He'll be joined by Travis Favorite, a senior and cleanup hitter who also plays first base, and sophomore Nate Navarrete, who returns as the centerfielder and leadoff hitter. In addition to their strong group of returning players, the West Valley team has added some new talent to their roster this year. Junior Jacob Roman transfers in from Santa Ana to play middle infield and pitch, while sophomore Maximus Vega joins the team from Moreno Valley to play third base and pitch. But for Coach Surritt, what matters even more than skill on the field is the attitude and character of his players. "We look for kids who have a genuine love for their teammates," he says. "They must be willing to lead out of desire and dedication without having a personal agenda." This year's team captains, juniors Vince Figueroa and Travis Favorite, embody these qualities. The West Valley program is known for its strong team bond, which is fostered by year-round practices and activities. "We start in the fall and we are a close program, being a small program," says Coach Surritt. "Our varsity and JV practice and lift weights together all year. We do team trips and team functions so everyone can learn about each other." In addition to building team camaraderie, the West Valley coaches also focus on developing a winning mindset among their players. "We like to talk about the possibilities and the things that can happen from playing baseball," explains Coach Surritt. "We have a 2018 alum, Andre Granville, who now plays AAA for the St.