When Chaffey began preparing for the 2012 season, the most critical issue was the age of the incoming players. Dylan Lavelle, Anthony Blackie, Chance Laboda and Max Engelbrekt had started for Chaffey since they were 16 and continued to have a major impact both offensively and defensively. Both Dylan and Max as 3-year starters have committed to play for the Oregon State Beavers next year. Peter Hendron in his second year with Chaffey has committed to play with Santa Clara next year. Christian Jarnagin came in last year as a 16 year old and stepped into a relief roll throughout the season. Aaron Thomassen also in his second year stepped right into the outfield and also moved to the mound as a starter. Both Aaron and Chance committed last summer to play ball at Linfield this year, and will be returning back this summer. Chaffey opened the season winning the River Dawg’s Classic in Ephrata, won the Bob Garretson Memorial Tournament in Yakima for the 2nd straight year defeating the Yakima Beetles, traveled to Omaha and won the Battle of Omaha beating Las Vegas, took 3rd place in the Brandy Pugh Tournament, hosted by Lakeside Recovery; Chaffey has won the tournament for an unprecedented 5th time since its inception. Of the 58 games last summer Chaffey was only out hit in 3-games. Traveled and played at Oregon State University against the Rawlings Elite Team winning in 13 innings and defeating Nor Cal 9-1 and NW Baseball.
All of the graduating 14-seniors from last year’s team they have all moved on to college to continue their education and play ball. At the end of our season, Michael Conforto and Dylan Davis both signed there letters of intent to play baseball at Oregon State University. Cody Reed and JoJo Howie are both attending Everett Community College and playing ball. Mitchell Gunsolus and Zach Abbruzza are attending Gonzaga University to play ball. Seth Heck is attending Tacoma Community College and Connor Campbell attending Bellevue College. Grant Gunning is attending school at Seattle University and playing for the Red Hawks. Aaron Thomassen and Chance Laboda both are playing ball at Linfield College. Kasey Bielec is playing for Central and Konrad Leitis attending Washington State University. Bubba Jones was able to only play the first third of our season before signing with the Yankees and heading off to Florida.
The 2012 season returns Dylan Lavelle in the infield with the arm strength to play on the left side of the diamond. Peter Hendron and Anthony Blackie both return as starters on the mound and also played in the outfield. Max Engelbrekt, Aaron Thomassen and Christian Jarnagin all return as starters, Joe Boyce returning with limited pitching with Chaffey last summer. Chance Laboda and Dewald Deklerk are returning as catchers. Joe and Dewald also split time last summer with the NW Bandits. Chaffey will be opening up the season over Memorial Day Weekend for the second straight year in the River Dawg Classic.
Chaffey will have great flexibility in the infield this summer with Dylan LaVelle returning and having the arm strength and athletic ability to play any of the infield positions. Chaffey has brought in an outstanding group of young infielders; Michael Gretler from Bonny Lake High School started at short stop as a freshman, and Carson Breshears from Mt. Si who has tremendous quickness and speed, both Michael and Carson are 16 year olds and play in the middle of the infield with their immediate strengths being at the plate and speed. Alex Hull and Trevor Morrison coming in as 17-year olds can also play both sides of the infield. As sophomores both received all-league honors, Alex as a starting infielder at Edmonds-Woodway and Trevor as a starting infielder at Arch Bishop Murphy.
With a great deal of experience behind the plate, Chance Laboda, in his third year with Chaffey, will be catching for Linfield College this spring with great size and arm strength, and can also step at 1st base and DH. Dewald Deklerk having played between the NW Bandits and Chaffey will be a senior at Mt. SI High School and like Chance can swing to 1st base and DH. Sam Lee in his first year with Chaffey is a junior at Bothell High School and is an outstanding hitter and can also DH when not behind the plate.
Peter Hendron will be returning to the Chaffey program as a starter in the outfield, this being his 2nd year. As the season progressed last summer he finished being one of the strongest hitters on the club. Peter attending Redmond High School has been a 3-year starter; over the past 2-seasons and also received All League Honors in the Kingco 4-A.
Anthony Blackie has been a 3-year starter for Lake Stevens High School as a starting pitcher and is returning this summer rotating back into the outfield. Anthony primarily was a pitcher in High School but has shown the athletic ability and arm strength to play in the outfield; he has also received All League honors for the past two years.
As a newcomer this year Jacob Bettencourt has the speed and ability to play multiple outfield positions. Jacob attends Kamiak High School and is expected to move into Chaffey’s outfield.
To fill out the outfield the options are innumerable, Kory Longaker and Tate Budnick both as 16 year olds play multiple positions in the infield but, athletically and their ability to hit will keep them constantly in the line-up. With Peter and Anthony both being starting pitchers there will be a great deal of shuffling of players in the outfield.
In search of a center fielder we could end up looking to the infield to rotate several of our middle infielders into center, where they have great speed, quickness and proven athletic ability.
Max Engelbrekt, Anthony Blackie, Peter Hendron and Aaron Thomassen anchored down the core of Chaffey’s starters from last summer. Peter, Anthony and Max as seniors are dual position players with Peter at Redmond High School, Anthony at Lake Stevens and Max at Blanchet High School. Aaron will be pitching at Linfield this spring and will bring back not only his leadership but competitiveness. Christian Jarnagin and Joe Boyce are both returning as 17 year olds this summer and can move into stating rolls or in relief.
Dylan LaVelle in his third year with Chaffey is returning as a 17 year old starter both in the infield and also pitching in relief. Dylan with the strongest arm on team will be used to close on the mound.
Chaffey has added four-right handed pitchers to the staff this summer Sam Hellinger, Ryan Budnick, Adam Cline and Max Karnos all are outstanding 17-year old athletes. Sam attends West Seattle High School and has been a 2-year starter. Adam a 2-year starter for Redmond High School will move into a starting role this summer; Adam also has committed to attend and play for Columbia next year. Ryan a 3-year starter at Edmonds-Woodway led them to the state play-offs and will definitely have as hit bat in the lineup playing multiple defensive positions and as the DH. Max Karnos who has been a 2-year starter at Anchorage High School will be his first year with Chaffey and step into a starting role this summer.
DESIGNATED HITTER/UTILITY PLAYER
For the first time in several years Chaffey will have the innumerable options to keep the hottest bat in the line-up as the DH and athletically the ability of players to play multiple positions to help the team. Chaffey’s very athletic infielders could move into center field or multiple defensive positions.
Not returning a true 1st baseman, it will be filled by multiple players who have the strength at the plate to remain in the line-up and athletically can play multiple positions.
With the continued renovation of the Husky ball park, it will be closed during portions of the spring and summer, in an effort to have the renovation work completed by the 2013 Husky baseball season.
The 2011 season will open up for the 2nd straight summer at the River Dawg Classic a round-robin tournament in Ephrata, where Chaffey won last summer, the tournament begins Saturday and ends on Memorial Day.
Following the Memorial weekend Chaffey will play host to the Vancouver Cardinals and Portland Baseball at the UW over the weekend, with a double-header each day.
The Langley Blaze will travel down to the UW for a double-header, the top baseball program in British Columbia.
The team will then travel to Yakima to play in the Bob Garretson Memorial Tournament; Chaffey won the tournament the past two summers.
The following weekend Chaffey will travel to Corvallis and play a series of games at Oregon State University over the weekend.
Chaffey will fly to Fairfield California and play in the prestigious Fairfield Expos 10-team round-robin tournament with teams from around the country.
The Brandy Pugh Tournament is the longest running tournament in the Northwest having run for over 30 years. Chaffey has won the tournament 3 of the last 5-years with the tournament starting July 11th through the 16th.
The following weekend Chaffey will travel south again to play a series of game at the University of Oregon.