New Coal Ridge baseball coach likes his Titans’ talent |

New Coal Ridge baseball coach likes his Titans’ talent

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

PEACH VALLEY, Colorado ” For the first time in his four years with the Coal Ridge baseball program, coach Steve Ryan says he’s working with a team of baseball players.

How is that possible?

“In the past, we’ve had a lot of athletic kids playing baseball,” said Ryan, who’s taking over as head coach this season after serving as an assistant the past three seasons. “This year we have baseball players.”

By baseball players, he means kids who have played the game most of their lives. And that should make improving on last year’s 6-13 showing a distinct possibility.

The Titans made much in the way of progress in 2008, winning the fourth-year program’s first varsity games and advancing to postseason for the first time.

Ryan is optimistic Coal Ridge can take another step or two in 2009.

“We’ve had a good spring practice so far,” he said. “The kids are real focused and disciplined.”

Among those returning from last year’s team to lead the Titans are four-year starter Josh Alsop, a catcher, and pitcher Jonathon Roessler. Both are seniors.

Junior center fielder Kyle Dussault, sophomore pitcher Nathan Terrin and senior utility man Adam Miller are a couple other names to keep an eye on.

Roessler, Terrin and Miller are all busy with basketball at the moment, with the Titans among the final eight Class 3A teams left in the state playoffs.

Coal Ridge will open its season Saturday at home with a doubleheader against Cedaredge. The first game is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. at Deerfield Park in Rifle, where the Titans will play their home games.

PARACHUTE, Colorado ” Coming from a smaller school on Colorado’s eastern plains, first-year Grand Valley baseball coach Casey Coulter is thrilled to take over in Parachute.

“Coming from a smaller school, I’m just excited at the opportunity to work with more talent,” he said. “We definitely have that here. These kids have a good work ethic. We’ll see what we can do.”

Coulter expects the likes of Cameron King and Josh Swindell, both seniors, to lead the Cardinals in 2009, their first year at the Class 3A level.

“I look to big things from them,” Coulter said. “Leadership is one thing.”

Also chipping in will be juniors Tyler Radel and Jeremy Lawrence, a transfer from Montrose.

A group of younger players and program newcomers have also shown promise, Coulter relayed. That said, the Cardinals will have to ride a learning curve in the early going.

“From my point of view, we’re very green, raw,” he said. “They’re wanting to learn more about the game, which is good. Overall, they jell well together. They’ve got good rapport with each other, which will take them a long ways in itself.”

CARBONDALE, Colorado ” There will now be two Nieslaniks coaching high school baseball programs in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Tim Nieslanik is taking over as Roaring Fork High School’s baseball program. His cousin, Eric, is Glenwood Springs’ coach.

Roaring Fork’s Nieslanik, who helped his cousin coach the Rams before Eric headed to Glenwood, inherits a program with just 12 players that will play only a varsity schedule. Six of those players are freshmen.

Seniors Michael Black and Matt Alberico and sophomores Alex Rascon and Jake Strack-Loetscher will lead the small Ram squad.

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