Two of Juanita High’s senior baseball players have solidified their college plans, but before they begin the next phase of their careers, they’ll have a chance to make an impact for the Rebels this spring.
They’re both looking good on the mound thus far and are ready to roll in 3A KingCo action, said coach Brian Shannon.
Shannon believes that Jayson Schroeder, a University of Washington commit, has one of the most overpowering fastballs in the state, in the low- to mid-90s, to go along with a good curve, slider and a changeup in the works.
“He’s a big strikeout guy and someone we’re counting on this year,” the coach said.
On JD Worcester, who is headed to Santa Clara University, Shannon noted that the hurler changes speeds well, has a good fastball and limits hard contact from hitters.
“He’s usually able to go deep in games for us and that’s a big plus,” said Shannon, noting that Worcester will notch his share of strikeouts.
Juanita graduated 10 seniors from last year and have a lot of talent back this year, including Ryan Trautmann, a junior infielder; Austin Santiago, a sophomore second baseman; and Adam Petter, a senior outfielder/infielder.
Although the team is young in some positions, Shannon noted, “I think the team chemistry is gonna be better this year, in my second year, with these guys understanding what to expect. They just love to play the game.”
Shannon feels the Rebels should have finished stronger than they did last year in the ultra-tough 3A KingCo league. They started out strong in nonleague competition and beat some teams that made state, and Shannon would like to see the team remain on the solid track the whole way this time out.
Hitting will be a major factor in achieving that goal.
“We pitched the ball well last year, we played great defense and it was really just our hitting that kind of let us down,” Shannon said. “We’ve been encouraged by what we’ve seen so far from the kids, they’ve been hitting better and we’re really trying to focus on doing our job and putting the ball in play and scoring runs this year.”
Head coach: Brian Shannon
Last year: 6-8 league, 12-11 overall, fourth place in 3A KingCo tournament
Key returners: Jayson Schroeder, senior, P; JD Worcester, senior, P