By Luke Krausse
Coach: Scott Hueston
Record last year: 14-3
Players to watch: Cole Garrett, Rafael Rodriguez, Chris Fredette, Johnny Oates, Camden Weston
Thomas Dale has a talented core, led by catcher Garrett, who is committed to VMI. Rodriguez, a strong option at shortstop, is committed to Norfolk State. Fredette, an outfielder, is committed to Paul D. Camp Community College, and pitcher Justin Berger will head to Mid-Atlantic Christian Academy. Two juniors, Oates and Weston, will also look to make an impact this season. In short, this is a talented roster.
Seniors on the roster: Cole Garrett, Rapheal Rodriguez, Chris Fredette, Cross Euresti, Ethan Davis, Justin Berger
Keys to success: The Knight’s 2020 roster is an experienced one with many skilled players. Their offense should be able to score runs with Garrett, Rodriguez, and Oates, and their pitching should be good as well.
Coach: Christian Kelley
Record last year: 9-11
Players to watch: Nick Collette, Roman Borders, Khadeem Lewis, Elijah Jackson, Terrian Randolph
After just missing the playoffs last season, Meadowbrook wants to qualify in 2020. They just might have the talent to do that. A core of Collette, Borders, Lewis, Jackson, and Randolph should serve the Monarchs well. Colette, a shortstop, may be the team’s best player, as he’s attracted the attention of many colleges, including Norfolk State. Borders will be one of the team’s leading pitchers, along with Lewis, who is particularly speedy on the basepaths, swiping 21 bags last year. Randolph is also a threat to steal, and he contributes speed on defense.
Seniors on the roster: David Kaiser, Derek Johnson, Nick Collette, Isaiah Brooks, Zion Bunns, Terrian Randolph, Lloyd Worsham, R.J. Bryant, Ty’yell Johnson, Gary Ampy Jr.
Keys to success: The Monarchs will need to improve their offense and defense to be more competitive this season. If they can add those skills to already strong pitching and base runnings, it could be a good year.
Coach: Fred Stoots
Record last year: N/A
Players to watch: Lucas Carmichael, LaTroy Whitaker, Tanner Clements, Brandon Arrowood
An ultra-successful Stoots returns to the program after a break from coaching, and he’ll have weapons in his arsenal. Two Division I signees headline the Warriors’ lineup. Carmichael (William & Mary) is a speedy outfielder with good bat. Whitaker is a Radford commit who will be Matoaca’s ace on the hill. Watch out for pitcher Arrowood and catcher Clements. Both are 6-3, and each one can do a little bit of everything well.
Seniors on the roster:
Cason Willingham, LaTroy Whitaker, Lucas Carmichael, Marcus Dreher, Bryce Thacker, Brandon Arrowood, Chase Garrett.
Keys to success: Matoaca will be expecting their seniors to step up and lead their team this season. Stoots believes that the Warriors will only be as good as their seniors are, but he is hoping that some young talent will step up to fill the holes. Ryan Fahy and Miles Ellis could fill those roles.
Coach: Jake Wiseman
Record last year: 10-10
Players to watch: Gavin Burton, Sebastian Ziegler, Micah Taylor
L.C. Bird had its best season in 10 years in 2019, winning 10 games. Although the team lost six seniors, a talented core still exists. Burton is a 6-1 righty with a mid-80s fastball and plus slider. Ziegler, the team’s catcher, has started two years on varsity, and he brings experience to the table. Taylor is a good hitter and baserunner who will hurt opponents in both areas.
Seniors on the roster: Gavin Burton, Cooper Grochowaski, Eddie Kenyon, Ethan Thomas, Sebastian Ziegler
Keys to success: Wiseman believes that if his team can do the little things right consistently, play with energy and effort, and have returning players take on bigger roles, then the Skyhawks will have a successful season.