District move and top coaching brings best baseball record
A strong pitching season combined with a solid team camaraderie and a new baseball 3A district led us to one of the best seasons in many years. The overall district record is 8-3 while the lost games were just close calls and not dramatic losses.
A change in district size from 4A to 3A may have played a key role in one of their best season records in years.
“[Moving to] 3A did help our competitive ability and still having a winning team,” First Season Head Baseball Coach Eric Darjean said.
The players confirm that changing districts have helped their confidence this season. Before playoffs began, the team knew confidence mattered.
“If we enter the field with confidence, we have a good chance this season,” said Junior Stephen Sosa. “It’s easier in the new 3A district but we could still compete in the 4A district.”
Sosa isn’t the only one who had a positive outlook on this season.
“Coming into the season as a new coach, I had to figure out who I wanted to be as a Christian model, and communicate that your relationship with Christ is #1 and baseball is not outside that, it’s a part of that,” said Darjean.
Seniors like Blake Anderson and Landon Weintraub came through as leaders on the team, according to Darjean, and players like Junior Reid Matyastik and Weintraub also made bold plays that moved the team forward.
“They [Matyastik and Weintraub] will take those risks and make the play,” said Darjean.
Weintraub played his senior season with a boldness that made an impact.
“Hey, we made play-offs, one step at a time,” said Weintraub. “Coach Darjean is an incredible leader on the field, and spiritually, and he knows the game well.”
Coach Darjean, a first and third baseman and outfielder, was awarded the NAIA National Championship Golden Glove Award in 2000 when he played for the DBU Patriots, and then went on to play 3 years in the minor leagues.
All this added to his previous experiences allowed him to help this team today, along with Assistant Coach Landon Anderson, who was a hitting and pitching coach bringing the same Christ-Centered approach to coaching that Darjean did, according to Darjean.
Darjean got this team to an 8-3 overall district record and to playoffs but didn’t go all the way to state.
“If we played to potential state could’ve been an option,” said Sosa.
Darjean’s mantra of “The one thing we can control is our effort,” was a hit this season.