Prep Baseball Preview
Players to watch in 2013
By Aaron Lommers, Herald Writer
Jacob Bettencourt – Kamiak, OF, Sr.
Bettencourt is the team captain for the Knights and has been a three-year starter in the outfield. As a junior he raked in the postseason honors, being named first-team All-State, All-Wesco South first team, All-Area second team. Kamiak coach Stephen Merkley said Bettencourt is a dynamic leader and is well-liked by his teammates. Merkley hopes that Bettencourt can lead the team to a Wesco South title and a state playoff spot.
Bettencourt led Kamiak in all offensive categories last season while hitting .428. He maintains a 3.7 grade point average and has aspirations to play baseball beyond high school. For a 5-foot-9 160 pounder, Bettencourt has tremendous power and Merkley said he is a natural born hitter.
Joakim Soderqvist – Jackson, OF, Sr.
Soderqvist is a versatile player who has played third base and outfield for the Timberwolves. He has good speed which he utilized as a wide receiver on the football team at the beginning of the school year and head coach Kirk Nicholson hopes he can use in the outfield and on the base paths this season.
Soderqvist’s biggest asset is his athletic ability. Nicholson said he makes difficult plays look routine. He will hit at the top of the order for the Timberwolves and most likely get a chance to use that speed and athletic ability to steal bases and score runs for Jackson this season.
Can Arch Bishop Murphy repeat?
The Wildcats have one of the biggest challenges a team in any sport can face – defending a championship.
Stan Taloff’s Archbishop Murphy team got hot at the right time a season ago and it culminated with a 7-6 extra inning victory over Lynden in the 2A state championship game last May. It was the first state championship of Taloff’s illustrious career.
The Wildcats return seven players this season and are the favorite to win the Cascade Conference once again.
Offensively, All-State shortstop Trever Morrison returns and should lead the way at the plate for the Wildcats. Morrison has committed to play baseball at Oregon State University after graduation.
“He’s just an outstanding hitter,” Taloff said. “He’s got great speed and great hands on defense.”
There is no question that the Wildcats have plenty of returning talent, but can they repeat? “We surely will have the talent to make a run at that,” Taloff said. “Sometimes it’s just one bad day or one good pitcher that comes up against you and because we don’t play a series like they do in other levels beyond us, one game can determine whether you move on or if you are done for the year. It’s a very difficult thing to do, but of course starting the year that’s our goal.”