From left, Head Coach Bruce Nesbitt, asst. Bill McKnight, asst. Ron Barrett, and JV coach Frank Nelson are looking forward to a successful season on the diamond for the Cougars in 2013.
In the few days of sunshine between snowfall, Bruce Nesbitt and his coaching staff, assistants Bill McKnight, Ron Barrett, and JV coach Frank Nelson, rounded up the boys of spring and held baseball tryouts at Chino Valley High.
If you're looking for some surprises on the diamond, Nesbitt said, you had better look somewhere else, because his brand of Cougar baseball has proven to be effective.
"We're running tryouts the same as we have in the past," said Nesbitt. "We've got a lot of good kids out here, and we're going to run them through the same drills we have before. Infield, outfield, hitting, and base running. That's the basics and that's Chino baseball."
As the saying goes, "If it aint broke don't fix it."
Over the years, Nesbitt has shown his brand of baseball ain't broke, consistently making post season and taking the state championship in 2010, a record-breaking season of Cougar baseball.
"After last season, we weren't sure how our pitching was going to shape up, but it looks like we'll be stronger on the bump than we thought," said Nesbitt. "I'm seeing some good, live arms so far. We've got some mechanics that we need to work on and of course we need to see what they're made of in their head, how they'll do in game situations, but it looks good so far."
Early on, it appears players Branden Redfern, R.J. Bell, and Jeremiah Moeller will play a big role in how the Cougars place this year. While all three, along with veteran Tanner Knight, have shown they can go deep with power, CVHS has never been known as a power club.
"We've always played small ball," said Nesbitt. "We'll manufacture runs and make the other teams play Chino Valley baseball. That's worked for us in the past and that's what we're going to do this year. We've got a good core group of guys that we can build on."
Last year the Cougars finished the season with a 23-4 record before being eliminated in the second round of the D-3 state tournament.
They take the field for the first time against Wickenburg at home for a scrimmage on Thursday, Feb. 14 before traveling to Bullhead City for the T-Bird Classic from Feb. 28 to March 2.
The Cougars home opener will be against Ash Fork for a double header on March 5, with a 1 p.m. first pitch.