Vikings ready to build on 2005 | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Vikings ready to build on 2005

Jeremy Evans

Dan Thrift/Tahoe Daily Tribune South Tahoe High shortstop Stephen Yarrow pulls down a Sparks pop fly last season at Todd Fields.

The South Tahoe baseball team accomplished two notable milestones last season. The first one was the Vikings finished 11-18 overall, a record that equaled their highest win total since 1997.

The second milestone was when South Tahoe beat storied Carson High, the first time in school history the Vikings had beaten the Senators, who have won three large-school state titles. And it’s that win over Carson that has STHS confident going into this year.

“I think if all of us play at our potential and bring it every week, we can compete with anybody out there,” Buck Pershing said. “I think we’re going to surprise a lot of teams. We kind of want to get out of the old South Tahoe image and start something new.”

South Tahoe returns seven players from last year’s team, which finished 4-11 in the Sierra Division and ended the season on a four-game winning streak. The Vikings hope to continue that momentum heading into Thursday’s season opener against 3A Truckee in their first game of the Carson Preseason Tournament.

“I am pretty happy with the overall attitude of the team right now,” said STHS second-year coach Matt Tillson. “We’re still trying to get things together. We’re trying to search for an identity at this point.”

South Tahoe will play five games in the Carson tournament, including a doubleheader on Saturday against Spring Creek and Lovelock, followed by a Monday night game against host Carson at Ron McNutt Field. The Vikings’ first home game isn’t until Saturday, April 8, when they host Douglas in a doubleheader.

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The biggest holes to fill from last season were left by slugger Randy Henson and outfielder Kyle Jones, two players who consistently made big plays for the Vikings. Tillson, though, will rely on the services of shortstop/pitcher Stephen Yarrow, an all-league player last year as a junior, and senior infielder Jamie Moore.

“Those are our two team leaders right now,” Tillson said. “I think Randy Henson will probably be the toughest to replace. We’ll miss his toughness and he had a very good stick. Kyle Jones, we’ll miss his leadership quite a bit. This team is going to take a little while to gel.”

Bo Hallam and Ian Rice are expected to provide stability in the outfield, while Tillson will use a deep pitching staff highlighted by ace Zach Kropf, who was the winning pitcher in last year’s historic win over Carson.

David Schue, Chris Diana, Pershing and Yarrow will also figure into the pitching rotation, although Diana is out for the next three weeks because of personal reasons. Tillson also thinks Kevin Yelles is one player who could make a name for himself this season.

One player who can’t wait for the 2006 season to start is Moore, who wasn’t bashful about his prediction for this year.

“Playoffs. We’ve been playing together for a long time and I feel this is the best team out of my four years here,” Moore said. “There is talent all over – hitting, pitching, fielding, everything. We all contribute where we need to contribute.”

STHS Schedule

Date Opponent Time

#Thursday Truckee 3 p.m.

#Friday Sparks 3 p.m.

#Saturday Spring Creek 9 a.m.

#Saturday Lovelock 1 p.m.

#Monday Carson 7 p.m.

March 16 Damonte 3 p.m.

March 18 Damonte (2) 10 a.m.

March 23 Reno 6:30 p.m.

March 25 Reno (2) 10 a.m.

March 30 Wooster 3:30 p.m.

April 1 Wooster (2) 1 p. m.

April 6 Douglas 3:30 p.m.

April 8 Douglas (2) 1 p.m.

April 11 Whittell 3 p.m.

April 13 Carson 3:30 p.m.

April 14 Carson (2) 1:30 p.m.

April 25 Dayton 3:30 p.m.

April 27 North Valleys 3:30 p.m.

April 29 North Valleys (2) 10 a.m.

May 2 Truckee 3:30 p.m.

May 4 Hug 3:30 p.m.

May 6 Hug (2) Noon

Note: Home games are in bold; #Carson Preseason Tournament.

STHS bunts

Coach: Matt Tillson, second year

Coach’s record: 11-18

Last year: 11-18 overall, 4-14 Sierra Division

Opener: Thursday vs. Truckee at Carson Preseason Tournament