Baseball season has begun for Rigby and West Jefferson. The following is a preview of the upcoming season and what the coaches are expecting from each of their teams.
Coach Barry Parkes has high hopes for this season, but hasn’t been able to see his team in full action due to the weather, as of March 9.
“I am looking forward to getting outside due to our great weather,” he said. “This is the first year since I have coached that I had tryouts outside, then the weather turned, and we haven’t been outside since.”
The Trojans were scheduled to play last Friday at home, but the game was cancelled due to snow on the field.
Despite the weather, Parkes said his team is looking strong this season, specifically their pitching staff.
“We should have a strong pitching staff,” he said. “This will be our anchor this season.”
Parkes said he is hoping to get his team to the state tournament this year.
“Our expectations are high this season,” he said. “Our goal is a state championship; however, getting back to the tournament would be our focus. First things first.”
Returning for their senior season is Peyton Boudrero, Keegan Zundel, Ben Fullmer and Tanner Clayton.
Parkes said they will have a freshman team this year in addition to varsity and junior varsity.
“We are also excited to have a freshman team this year, which hasn’t been part of the Rigby High School program for as long as I’ve been here,” he said.
As of March 9, they were scheduled to play March 13 and March 15 against Idaho Falls and Skyline at Melaleuca Field.
West Jefferson Panthers
Coach Dave Hadley said he expects to see a lot of growth from his players this season.
“I am looking forward to seeing growth,” he said. “We are an inexperienced group of kids that have a lot to learn about the game.”
He said their catcher, Riley Caudle, will be returning as a senior this year and expects him to help the younger players.
“He is a four-year player that will be able to help a lot with our young pitchers,” he said.
Hadley said he also anticipates seeing confidence and speed on the field this season.
“We are also going to be able to be aggressive on the bases with pretty good team speed,” he said.
Riley Caudle and Kyler Albertson will return for their senior season.
“I expect our team to compete hard every day,” he said. “I think you will see a lot of growth as the season goes along.”
The Panthers played their first game March 13 against Teton.