Baseball team capsules
Seoul American Falcons
2011 Far East Tournament finish — Third.
Coach — Joel McDonald, first season.
Key performers — Chung Winchip, Sr., UT; Chris Horton, Sr., P; Ryan Bittner, Jr., C; Alex McDonald, Fr.; Blake McDonald, Fr.
Outlook — Rebuilding. Seven of nine starters are gone (two are playing soccer) from a team that went 12-0 in DODDS Korea and won Far East bronze. Nine new faces enter the picture as the Falcons attempt to build another Korea title run.
2011 Far East Tournament finish — Second for the second straight year.
Coach — Kent Grubbs, first season.
Key performers — Luke Carey, Jr., SS; Cody Prince, So., C-P-OF; Dominic Shea, So., C-P-SS; Ryan Marshall, So., 2B; Jared Paul, Jr., 1B-P-UT; Jack Cioppa, Sr., OF-IF-P; Justin Sego, Fr., UT.
Outlook — Reloading. Solid group of underclassmen who went all the way to a second straight Far East title game now a year older and wiser; must get used to yet another new coach, the fifth in seven seasons.
Coach — Randy Toor, seventh season.
Key performers — Richard Allen, Sr., P-IF; Tommy Warren, So., P-SS-3B; Angelo Bourdony, So., LF-1B-P; Shoichiro Vivas, So., C.
Outlook — Reloading. Very much like Kadena, in that the Dragons possess experienced underclassmen who are around for the long haul; will there be enough pitching to make a run at a seventh straight island championship and a second Far East championship in three years?
Coach — Michael Martinez, first season.
Key performers — Jesse Christmas, Sr., P-OF; Kei DePontbriand, Sr., P-OF; Landon Harvey, Sr., P-IF.
Outlook — Rebuilding. New coaching staff for the fourth straight season, lineup decimated by graduation, transfer and last spring’s earthquake-tsunami evacuation. Trying to develop rotation and starters while Yokota Park remains under construction and isn’t available until mid-March.
Nile C. Kinnick Red Devils
Coach — Michael Valenzuela, fourth season.
Key performers — Donald Ross, Sr., reigning Far East Tournament MVP, P-C; Daniel Ross, So., 1B-P; Kyle DeLeon, Sr., CF-2B; Charles Cruz, Jr., 2B-CF; Grant Kawahara, Fr., P-SS; Ryan Folsom, Fr.; Nick Orbanosky, Fr.
Outlook — Rebuilding, but possess a solid stable of arms in the Ross brothers and newcomer Kawahara, a necessity in the always competitive Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools. Will develop as season progresses.
Robert D. Edgren Eagles
Coach — Brett Lehner, fifth season.
Key performers — Jesse Rice, Sr., two-time All-Far East SS; Christian Wolfewitz, P-2B-1B; Tristan Jefferson, OF; Michael Dzoba, C-3B-P; Leo Austin, C-P-SS.
Outlook — Rebuilding. Like most Eagles spring teams, development is hindered by snow, which keeps the practice fields at Misawa Air Base socked in until early April. That, plus the season shutdown after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, didn’t keep the Eagles from a memorable Far East tournament run that saw them just miss a Final Four berth.
Zama American Trojans
Coach — Jenny Torres, second season.
Key performers — Michael Torres, Jr., P-1B; Stephen Ferrer, Sr., C-1B; Christian Venzlauskas, So., P-SS.; Ronie Herana, Sr., 2B-OF; Daniel Roland, Jr., OF; Saad Almomory, So., 2B-C; Arvin Cortez, Sr., SS-3B.
Outlook — Rebuilding-reloading. Plenty of experience and veterans; question of how quickly they’ll come together after last year’s truncated season.
E.J. King Cobras
Coaches — Billy Clites, James Persons, first season.
Key performers — Ian Cockerel, Sr., P-C-OF; Jessee Gorst, Jr., P-C-SS; Aaron Garcia, So., OF; Brandon Venczel, So., OF; Nathan Gomez, So., 3B.
Outlook — Building. First year playing as a spring entity; Cobras used to play baseball in the fall. Cobras will likely go as far as their baseball “lifers,” Cockerel and Gorst, will take them.
Matthew C. Perry Samurai
Coach — Frank Macias, first season.
Key performers — Shawn Eagmin, Jr., P; Steven Brown, Jr.; Eric Cox, So.
Outlook — Building. Pretty much like E.J. King, playing baseball in the spring for the first time in eight years. Eagmin has experience playing Japanese ball in Hiroshima; the rest are young and inexperienced.
Coach — Michael Downes, fourth season.
Key performers — Sean Lattanzi, Sr., All-Far East P-IF; Jonathan Philley, Sr., 2B-RF; Ryan Lattanzi, Jr., IF; Chris Reynolds, Sr.; Shane Parrotte, So.
Outlook — Rebuilding-reloading. Early to tell; Korea’s season doesn’t begin until late March, but Warriors appear to have the pieces needed to make a run in May.
Osan American Cougars
Coach — Bob Liles, first season.
Key performers — Patrick Lunsford, Jr., C-OF; Ibrahim Mustapha, Jr., OF; Tyler Harding, Jr., P-IF; Brett Hammontree, Sr., P-IF; Charles Washington, Sr., C-P; Ryan King, IF; Kyler Schmidt, IF.
Outlook — Rebuilding, but hoping to be competitive while they rebuild the program; Liles is the team’s third coach in four years.