New STHS baseball coach hopes to build a program | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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New STHS baseball coach hopes to build a program

Tribune file photoRicky Braun reaches third base ahead of Tyler Brumit's tag in the first inning. Vikings' skipper Don Amaral gets a close-up view of the play. This year's coach, Rich Rubel, hopes to take the team to its first postseason game in 16 years.
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Rich Rubel has a New York baseball playing background and a Las Vegas coaching background. That might be what will make South Tahoe baseball relevant in the region.

“Playing inside is awkward, but I am used to being outside year-around because we were in the gym until April when I went to high school in New York,” said Rubel, whose team has been inside since practices began. “Being in a gym is definitely a disadvantage, but I think going from a 4A division to a 3A division will really help these guys.”

Rubel replaces Don Amaral, who resigned last season after South Tahoe’s final year in the Northern 4A. South Tahoe will compete this spring in the 3A-2A Mount Rose League, which should improve the school’s chances for ending a postseason drought that’s lasted 16 years. Amaral was previously the coach at Whittell High School.



“I think there are a lot of athletes here (at South Tahoe) and there are a lot of athletes interested in baseball,” Rubel said. “My plan is to build a program here. I just moved here and plan on making a life here. So hopefully we can build a program that over time that can be a dominant figure and have a presence in this area.”

The Vikings finished 0-18 last year in league play, but Rubel doesn’t expect a winless league performance in 2011. The former owner of Frozen Ropes, a baseball and softball training center in Las Vegas, Rubel will count on Jake Braun and Jamie Yelles to challenge for a playoff spot. Braun will play catcher and third base, while Yelles will play in left field and as a pitcher.



With only 14 eligible players, the Vikings will need to play multiple positions to survive the season. Rubel believes Andrew Contaxis and Colton Marchesseault will be among the team’s top pitchers. Derek Clelan, a freshman, will likely be the team’s starting shortstop.

“A lot of players will be playing more than one position,” Rubel said. “It’s a little early to determine (the big bats). Last year’s offensive performances were very poor. They did not hit the ball at all. We’ve been working on their swings, getting faster and getting better contact. But it’s taken all of them to adjust and they are just now getting comfortable swinging the bat.”

Rubel didn’t want his players quoted for this story, opting to let them become acclimated in game situations before commenting on expectations for the season. But the first-year coach is looking forward to finally getting outside and playing baseball.

“The guys are working hard to stay in shape and throwing as much as possible in the gym, trying to compete with teams playing on dirt,” Rubel said. “I don’t know much about the other teams in the league, but I’ve heard a lot about the other schools we play such as Truckee and Whittell. It’ll be nice to see what other teams got.”

Rich Rubel has a New York baseball playing background and a Las Vegas coaching background. That might be what will make South Tahoe baseball relevant in the region.

“Playing inside is awkward, but I am used to being outside year-around because we were in the gym until April when I went to high school in New York,” said Rubel, whose team has been inside since practices began. “Being in a gym is definitely a disadvantage, but I think going from a 4A division to a 3A division will really help these guys.”

Rubel replaces Don Amaral, who resigned last season after South Tahoe’s final year in the Northern 4A. South Tahoe will compete this spring in the 3A-2A Mount Rose League, which should improve the school’s chances for ending a postseason drought that’s lasted 16 years. Amaral was previously the coach at Whittell High School.

“I think there are a lot of athletes here (at South Tahoe) and there are a lot of athletes interested in baseball,” Rubel said. “My plan is to build a program here. I just moved here and plan on making a life here. So hopefully we can build a program that over time that can be a dominant figure and have a presence in this area.”

The Vikings finished 0-18 last year in league play, but Rubel doesn’t expect a winless league performance in 2011. The former owner of Frozen Ropes, a baseball and softball training center in Las Vegas, Rubel will count on Jake Braun and Jamie Yelles to challenge for a playoff spot. Braun will play catcher and third base, while Yelles will play in left field and as a pitcher.

With only 14 eligible players, the Vikings will need to play multiple positions to survive the season. Rubel believes Andrew Contaxis and Colton Marchesseault will be among the team’s top pitchers. Derek Clelan, a freshman, will likely be the team’s starting shortstop.

“A lot of players will be playing more than one position,” Rubel said. “It’s a little early to determine (the big bats). Last year’s offensive performances were very poor. They did not hit the ball at all. We’ve been working on their swings, getting faster and getting better contact. But it’s taken all of them to adjust and they are just now getting comfortable swinging the bat.”

Rubel didn’t want his players quoted for this story, opting to let them become acclimated in game situations before commenting on expectations for the season. But the first-year coach is looking forward to finally getting outside and playing baseball.

“The guys are working hard to stay in shape and throwing as much as possible in the gym, trying to compete with teams playing on dirt,” Rubel said. “I don’t know much about the other teams in the league, but I’ve heard a lot about the other schools we play such as Truckee and Whittell. It’ll be nice to see what other teams got.”


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