Players not involved in a winter sport reported to baseball practice Monday, but it is shaping up to be a challenging season for the Padres, after losing five starting seniors, all of whom earned the honor of being named All-League.
Tyler Knight, First Team All-League pitcher last season, led the Padres’ dominant pitching staff last season. But with his departure to play baseball for VirginiaTechUniversity, the Padres are left with a gaping hole in the pitching staff.
Senior pitcher Traven Tapson feels confident in the team’s ability to fill the void in the pitching staff.
“I am really confident in our team’s ability to make up for the loss of Tyler Knight in our pitching staff,” Tapson says. “We have guys coming back that were great last year, like Jacob Ross. Not to mention we have a ton of young talent in the freshman and sophomore class, and I have no doubt we will be just fine this season.”
The Padres have also made an addition to the coaching staff this offseason. Pitching coach Mark Williams will bring a veteran mind to the pitching staff. Williams, a 1993 Carmel High graduate, has a vast knowledge of baseball, collected from his years pitching at StanfordUniversity and SacramentoStateUniversity.
The players aren’t the only ones excited for the arrival of the new pitching guru.
“Coach Williams is a badass,” assistant coach Joey Parsons says. “He is incredibly knowledgeable and brings a level of swagger crucial for a successful pitching staff.”
In addition to the team’s strength on the mound the Padres hope to again be a force at the plate. The Padres potent offense was nearly atop the MTAL in runs last season, averaging more than six runs per game.
Senior Trey Coppinger will help lead the offensive charge this season after posting a 17-hit season with 12 runs batted in.
“I feel very good about the season,” Coppinger says. “We already have a couple potential [NCAA Division I] players and the underclassmen appear to have a lot of potential. The combination of veteran experience and newcomer talent will make the team a league powerhouse as usual.”
Baseball has a rich history at Carmel High, with 29 MTAL championships and nine CCS championships, and it is safe to say that with the addition of Williams, the return of head coach Randall Bispo and the revamped mindset of the team’s hitting core, the Padres are set to hit one out of the park this season.