Youthful Vikes have question marks
The 2007 South Tahoe High baseball team set the school record for wins in a season (13) with an experienced lineup. If the 2008 squad wants to break the record again, it will have to do so with an inexperienced group of players.
“I like our talent right now,” said fourth-year coach Matt Tillson. “We’re a little bit young, but this team works really hard and I like the overall attitude of the team. I like the new blood.”
South Tahoe went 13-20 last season and missed the regional playoffs for the 13th consecutive season. If the Vikings are to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 1994, they will need to rely on the few veterans they have.
Sophomore Otto Trebotich, who was a first-team all Sierra League selection as a freshman, will anchor the infield at shortstop. Senior Kevin Yelles, an honorable mention all-league pick, will primarily play at third base to form a talented infield with Trebotich.
Derek Holmgren will play second, while Ivan Trebotich and Max DeLallo will split time at first. DeLallo is expected to miss the preseason but could return in time for the team’s Sierra League opener against Hug on March 20.
Unlike past years, the Vikings will get to play 11 preseason games before league play starts.
“This team is very young, but we are really talented,” said Gary Prescott, who will share catching duties with Ivan Trebotich. “A lot of people might say we’re small, but we hit just as well as anybody and we field just as well as anybody.”
Matt Marsh, Kyle DiGrande and Jason Winslow will be the team’s outfielders, but pitching remains the biggest question mark for South Tahoe. With a handful of capable pitchers but no obvious standouts, Tillson will use the Carson preseason tournament to determine his starting rotation.
“I am still up in the air about who the starters are going to be,” Tillson said. “Seriously, I have no idea, but we have lots of guys who can throw strikes, which is good, and we’ll use the Carson tournament to pretty much give everybody a shot.”
Damonte Ranch, which returns most of its pitching staff from last year’s regional playoff squad, is expected to challenge perennial power Reno for the league championship. Carson also looks solid, and North Valleys, Wooster and Douglas all have young rosters that are still expected to challenge for one of the league’s four spots in the Northern 4A regional tournament.
“It all comes down to pitching,” said Ivan Trebotich, an honorable mention all-league selection in 2007. “Our defense is good and we can hit. Our goal is to make the playoffs. It’s a stretch, but we’ve got a chance.”
2008 STHS Baseball Schedule
Date Opponent Time
Thu-Mon Carson tournament TBA
March 11-15 Manogue tournament TBA
March 18 Galena 3:30 p.m.
March 20 Hug 3:30 p.m.
March 22 Hug (2) 10 a.m.
March 27 Damonte 3:30 p.m.
March 29 Damonte (2) 10 a.m.
April 3 Reno 3:30 p.m.
April 5 Reno (2) 10 a.m.
April 9 Reed 3:30 p.m.
April 10 Wooster 3:30 p.m.
April 12 Wooster (2) 10 a.m.
April 17 Douglas 3:30 p.m.
April 19 Douglas (2) 10 a.m.
April 22 Truckee 3:30 p.m.
April 24 Carson 3:30 p.m.
April 26 Carson (2) 10 a.m.
April 30 No. Valleys 3:30 p.m.
May 2 No. Valleys (2) 3:30 p.m.
May 7-10 Regionals TBA
May 15-17 State TBA
Note: Home games are in bold.