2014 Record: 17-2
Lost in First Round of 5A South Regionals to Mills Godwin
Key Players: Sam Smith, senior, shortstop; Austin Sizemore, senior, second base; Kyle Creasy, senior; pitcher
Key Departures: Rick Spiers (Randolph-Macon), Grant Boyd (King College), Jamison and Grayson Trower (Maryland-Eastern Shore), Jake Bailey (Bridgewater), Craig Johnson (Christopher Newport)
The Warriors lost a bevy of talent last year and a youthful squad heads into battle. Middle infielders Smith (shortstop) and Sizemore (second) will lead the team. Sizemore recently committed to Marymount College. Creasey is headed to Emory and Henry this fall was a solid pitcher last season will need to step up and be Matoaca’s ace. Junior Jacob Bartlett, a quick outfielder has done nothing but hit his whole high school career and the development of Steven Riddle behind the dish will be crucial in replacing Spiers and Boyd, who both caught. Matoaca should be a middle of the pack team in Conference 12 and could surprise some teams if things gel quickly.
2014 Record: 1-19
Lost in Conference 12 quarters to Prince George
Key Players: Joe Medina, senior, second base; Jonathan Bunns, senior, pitcher; K.J. Brown, senior, outfield
Key Departures: Tavon Gray
The Monarchs are working to build a program and have a couple of pieces that will serve them well in 2015. Perhaps the most exciting athlete on the diamond is Joe Medina, who led the team offensively last year. Bunns, a wide receiver for the Monarchs, is Meadowbrook’s top pitching option. Brown and Dion Gray have plenty of speed to burn. The former will be the Monarch’s lead-off man and the latter is a valuable utility player. Third baseman D.J. Harris could be one of Meadowbrook’s top run producers. While there likely won’t be a lot of movement in the standings for this team, Head Coach Drew Walker continues to strive to build a winner, but most importantly a team of outstanding young men.
2014 Record: 15-5
Lost to James River in Conference 3 Semi-Finals
Key Players: Nathan Eaton, senior, pitcher/shortstop; Corey Johnston, senior, third base; Tommy Barron, senior, outfield/pitcher; Blake Hartman, senior, outfield
Key Departures: Collin Fleischer (VMI), Maurice Gothe and Brian Goodwyn (Hampden-Sydney)
Despite the loss of three starters playing at the next level, the time is now for Thomas Dale. The Knights are led by a dynamic pitcher and shortstop in Eaton, who will pace the team on the hill and defensively, while providing an above average bat. Johnston and Barron will both see time on the bump, with Barron being a player that could step up and give the Knights a big time boost. Johnston and Hartman are both key sticks in the middle of the Thomas Dale line-up. Cody Boydstun also figures to be a key component for the Knights. James River is probably the favorite to win Conference 3, but Thomas Dale and Cosby will right in the thick of things.
Lost to Matoaca in Conference 12 semis
Key Players: Corey Anderson, senior, pitcher; Chris Hayden, junior, infield; C.J. Henderson, senior, outfield; Jayce Young, senior, catcher
Key Departures: Darius Gillus (Old Dominion), Devin Baber
The Skyhawks were competitive offensively last season, but pitching depth was a concern. This year, it’s much of the same but Corey Anderson is an ace on the mound. Last week against Manchester, he mowed down nine batters as the Skyhawks won 4-3. A quiet leader, he’s backed up by a couple of noisy bats- starting with Hayden, who will likely be their biggest run producer. Young, has a solid all-around offensive game and Henderson is speedy and makes good contact. The Skyhawks will ride Anderson’s arm as far as it can take them and will hope for even more offense to develop as the season progresses.