The arrow points up for Cardinals in spring sports | PostIndependent.com

The arrow points up for Cardinals in spring sports

Mike Vidakovich
Post Independent contributor

Spring sports at Grand Valley High School will feature teams on the baseball diamond, the track oval and the soccer pitch. As is the case at many schools this time of year, optimism runs rampant as the sun starts to warm up and the landscape turns green all around us.

Here is a look at what area fans can expect from the Cardinals in the coming months leading up to the state playoffs in May.

TRACK AND FIELD

Head Coach: Mark Jansen, 3rd season

Key Returners: Jordyn Pittman, Jr.; Shaya Chenoweth, Sr.; Ryley Sackett, Jr.; Alex Mendoza, Soph.; Justin Andrews, Sr.; Kellen Jansen, Sr.

Season Outlook: Coach Mark Jansen’s Cardinals will be anchored on the girls’ side by junior Jordyn Pittman, who qualified for the state meet in four events last year as a sophomore, and by senior Shaya Chenoweth, who finished second at the state 3A meet last season in the long jump event. Jansen is also expecting good things from the girls’ medley relay team. On the boys’ side of things, throwers Justin Andrews and Kellen Jansen will be counted on to score points on a consistent basis for Grand Valley.

“We should be pretty strong with the girls this spring. They finished 15th at state last year,” said Jansen. “The individual events will be OK, and we will need to find some girls to fill in on the relays. We have some boys who could come through in the throwing events and a few of the relays.”

Jansen sees Coal Ridge as having a strong team with both the boys and girls again this spring.

GIRLS SOCCER

Head Coach: Kelly Romero, first season

Last Season: 4-10-1 (1-7-0 in 3A WSL)

Key Returners: Shaya Chenoweth, Sr.; Kailey Davis, Sr.; Kirstin Medina, Sr.

Players to Watch: Tylene Diehl, So.; Katie Ray, Fr.; Cali Jackson, Fr.; Carolyn Quintanilla, Fr.

Season Outlook: Under first-year head coach Kelly Romero, the Cardinals see seniors Shaya Chenoweth, Kailey Davis and Kirstin Medina all return, giving Grand Valley a strong senior nucleus to work with. Along with the three seniors, Romero and the Cardinals are excited for upcoming players who are new to the program in underclassmen Tylene Diehl, Katie Ray, Cali Jackson and Carolyn Quintanilla.

“This year we are looking to rebuild a solid foundation we can expand upon to have a competitive soccer program in the following years,” Romero said. “We want to have a stronger soccer presence in our community and provide a positive player development experience.”

BASEBALL

Head Coach: Doyle Radel, fourth season

Last Season: 2-17 (0-9 in 3A WSL)

Key Returners: Brandon Millius, Sr.; Marco Rojas, Sr.; Brandon Radel, Jr.; Austin White, Jr.; Isaiah Tigert, Jr.

Players to Watch: Derrick Medina, Fr.; Rance Beck, So.; Cody Collier, Fr.; Jake Bowen, So.

Season Outlook: The 2018 season was a tough one for the Cardinals under veteran head coach Doyle Radel, but a majority of last season’s team returns with another year under its belt. After going through rough patches last season, the Cardinals should be more competitive in league play in 2019 and could push for a league win after being held winless in league play last season.

sports@postindependent.com


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