Winslow High School baseball coach Art Griffith welcomed six starters and 11 lettermen to practice last Monday as the team began preparing for the Mohave Tournament which begins on Thursday. During that event, the Bulldogs will meet five top quality teams including 4A and 5A competition.
Griffith said recently that teams improve by playing better competition and that he had asked the tournament director to not schedule the Bulldogs against teams they will play in the regular season if that could be avoided. Tough early competition last season prepared the Bulldogs for a strong, region-winning finish.
Seven seniors return to the Bulldog line-up including pitcher/centerfielder Steven Martinez, second baseman/shortstop Lyle Brown, first baseman/third baseman Matt Gose, first baseman Brandon Guzman, catcher/outfielder Jon Ortiz, outfielder Dominic Perez and pitcher/outfielder Joseph Sanchez. Martinez, Brown and Gose were all starters in the 2002 season.
Pitcher/infielder Fernando Lopez and catcher Nathan Garner were junior starters last season. Left-handed pitcher/outfielder Lambert Dixson is another returning junior letterman.
Pitcher/shortstop Lucas Armenta is the only sophomore returning letterman and was a starter last season.
Griffith also expects help from a number of new players. Infielder Brady McCauley and left-handed pitcher/outfielder Andrew Richards join the team as seniors. Infielder/outfielder Jon Caraway, infielders Justin Cole and Jeff McCauley and pitcher/infielder Mickey Soehner join the team as juniors. Pitcher/infielder Alex Richards is the only new sophomore on the squad. Left-handed pitcher/outfielder Jordan Payne is expected to contribute as a freshman.