The baseball season at Colorado High School began this week, the first local prep action since 2019. The 2020 season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Here is an overview of title favorites to see in class 5A, plus teams to keep an eye on in 4A and 3A.
Scoop: In a loaded field with an unparalleled number of powerful arms, the title is there to take.
Favorite title: Chatfield, Valor Christian, Regis Jesuit, Mountain Vista and Fairview.
Chatfield (coach Brett Pieratt, first year) has been state ranking in 1990, 1993 and 2015, and the Chargers are ready for another deep run.
The chargers are led by sr. RHP / 1B Quinton Low (Santa Clara), sr. RHP Logan Carlisle (Air Force), Jr. RHP Christian Foutch, sr. SS Matthew Lighthall (South Mountain), sr. OF / LHP Colby Cruser (University of Rochester) and Sr. 3B Ethan Goroski.
“We have three boys of 90 plus on the mound,” Pieratt said. “With the condensed schedule, we have the arms to make a deep run. And we can swing, too, with the best in the state. ”
Valor Christian (coach Keith Wahl, 11) also has a trio of 90 plus boxes. In its third year in Class 5A, the Eagles (Class 4A Champions 2016-18) are able to put their first mark on the highest classification.
The Eagles are led by nine college baseball commitments, plus five other future college athletes, including Sr. RHP / SS Radek Birkholz (Notre Dame), Jr. OF Keenan Proctor (UCLA), Sr. RHP Ben Whipple (Hawaii), Sr. 1B Pearce Coleman (University of Dallas), Sr. 3B Caden Potter (Colorado Mesa), and Sr. RHP Deacon Nagy (St. Thomas).
“Players have that goal (a Class 5A title) and they are committed to it,” Wahl said. “But they also know that winning is a by-product of how much they love each other. When they come together and support each other, they will get it done. ”
Regis Jesuit (coach Matt Darr, 8 years) is the defending champion from 2019 and has the talent to bring home the program’s fourth title, albeit with a largely different cast than two seasons ago.
Raiders is led by sr. RHP Alec Willis (Minnesota), jr. SS Dallas Macias (Oregon State), Jr. 1B / OF Charlie Rogan (Wichita State), Jr. OF Isaac Wachsmann (Xavier) and Sr. RHP / INF Brock Weiss (UCCS).
“We have a deep team and we are probably a little better offensively this year than we were in 2019, although we are not that deep pitching,” said Darr. “But I think our lineup is as loaded as I’ve had here.”
Fairview (coach David Castillo, sixth year) can boast of his most talented team in recent times as the Knights aim to re-establish themselves as statesmen with the program’s second title and the first since 1993.
The Knights are led by sr. C JD Jones (Miami), sr. RHP / OF Greysen Carter (Vanderbilt), sr. CF Adam Moser (Oklahoma) and jr. SS Gabe Springer (Stanford).
“Our goal as a team is to play in the last game, the state final, and win it,” said Castillo. “That’s the expectation, and we know it’s going to be achieved by playing hard and staying loose.”
Mountain Vista (coach Ron Quintana, 11) has an 18-player senior class as the Golden Eagles (2018 champions) look set to return to the state tournament to crack their second title in the last three seasons.
The Golden Eagles are led by sr. RHP Evan Magill (Indiana State), sr. LHP / OF Griffin Huiatt (Washburn), Jr. DH / 1B / LHP Tyler Meija, Jr. C Blake Young (Santa Barbara), Sr. INF Sam Krysa and Sr. INF Cannon Humphreys.
“The goal is the same, even if we are not talking about, because it is the small things and milestones that get us to the ultimate goal,” Quintana said. “But expectations are high, especially considering that this is an older group that plays hard and very tough.”
Other candidates: Rocky Mountain, Cherry Creek, Heritage, Rock Canyon, Legend, Grandview, Mullen, Douglas County, Pueblo West, ThunderRidge, Legacy, Ralston Valley and Cherokee Trail.
Scoop: The main powers of the top-heavy classification are north and south of the metro. The defending champion (Pueblo West in 2019) moved up to class 5A.
Favorite title: Silver Creek, Holy Family, Windsor, Longmont, Fort Morgan.
Other candidates: Cheyenne Mountain, Golden, Montrose, Ponderosa, Erie, Thomas Jefferson, Lewis-Palmer, Palisade, Palmer Ridge, Air Academy.
Scoop: Eaton opened the season at the top of the CHSAANow poll, but Resurrection Christian is also capable and University is the two-time defending champion.
Favorite title: University, Eaton, Christian Resurrection, Lutheran, Faith Christian.
Other candidates: Sterling, Brush, Lamar, La Junta, Delta, Peak to Peak, Colorado Academy and Kent Denver.