Coeur d’Alene Vikings
1997 records: 19-6 (second in state), 11-3 (league champ, shortened league due to weather)
Current record: 3-3
Coach: Brian Holgate, 2nd year
Top returners: Casey Hoorelbeke, senior, right-handed pitcher/1b; Jim Rupp, sr., center field; Bret Whiteman, sr., shortstop; Kurt Gosch, junior, left-handed pitcher/right fielder; Rob Crain, jr., left field; Seth Alderman, lhp/outfielder; Andy Gore, sr., catcher; Pat Goodwin, jr., infield.
Top newcomers: David Seccombe, sophomore, rhp/inf; Joel Pearl, sr., c; Brad Ross, soph., c; Vince Rossi, jr., rhp/ inf.
Coach’s comment: “We’ve been a little slow to start. Our strength will definitely be pitching. We just don’t have the pop we had last year.”
Outlook: Optimistic. The Viks must rely on solid pitching and defense as they try to piece together offense. Gone is the long-ball threat and five-run innings. They have the best chance of advancing to state after Lewiston.
Lake City Timberwolves
1997 records: 14-12, 8-6
Current record: 1-2
Coach: Cory Bridges, 4th
Top returners: Jeff Brennan, sr., rhp/of; Aaron Cohen, sr., lhp/1b; Josh Merk, sr., 3b; Griffin Rod, sr., ss; Sean Moglia, jr., 2b; Ben Orsua, sr., c; Nick Granier, sr., of.
Top newcomers: Jasper Graham, jr., of; Chad Keefer, jr., of/inf; Pat Ward, jr., c; Darin Tomlinson, soph., c.
Coach’s comment: “They’re a very competitive group. They do not like to lose. They’re a little off the wall at times, but they compete real hard.”
Outlook: The Timberwolves will be heard from. Whether they have enough firepower to knock off Lewiston and Coeur d’Alene remains to be seen. LC should finish no worse than third place.
1997 records: 15-10, 10-4
Current record: 4-0
Coach: Tom Grunenfelder, 5th
Top returners: Mike Mayton, sr., cf; Sennett Pierce, sr., 3b; Jack Maurer, sr., of; Scott Wimer, jr., c; Tony Picchena, sr., ss; Jeff Wendt, sr., rhp/1b.
Top newcomers: Jayme Taylor, sr., of; Justin Miller, sr., rhp; Clay Johnson, soph., rhp/utility; Matt Davis, jr., rhp.
Coach’s comment: “We don’t have a standout No. 1 pitcher, but we have a lot of Nos. 2- and 3-type starters. We’ll be pretty solid offensively and defensively.”
Outlook: If there’s a favorite, Lewiston would have to be given the nod. The Bengals have the ingredients of a team that could challenge for a state title.
Post Falls Trojans
1997 records: 6-18, 4-11
Current record: 2-1-1
Coach: John Pettoello, 6th
Top returners: Rick Pettit, sr., lhp/of; Larry Shenfield, sr., rhp/inf; Josh Mann, sr., c; Nick Ursillo, sr., ss; Scott Chamberlain, sr., of; Luke Tatman, sr., 1b.
Top newcomers: Matt Schrag, jr., cf; Andy Mikles, jr., rph.
Coach’s comment: “We have some speed and a number of kids put time in last year. We have a better attitude overall. The major concern is defense.”
Outlook: Pettoello is breaking in a new infield and the Trojans’ don’t have a deep hitting lineup. But they will be improved. If they play to their potential, the Trojans could surprise at the end.
1997 records: 6-11, 1-10
Current record: 4-1
Coach: Mike Givens, 2nd
Top returners: Shawn Warren, sr., lhp/ cf; Dustin Reichart, sr., lhp/rf; Jens Weiden, jr., lhp/1b; Dave Rust, sr., rhp/ 3b; Greg Leverich, sr., c; Josh Sears, soph., ss/c.
Top newcomers: Justin Lantrip, jr., lhp/ rf; Mikal Sevcik, sr., lhp/1b; Troy Nowell, jr., 2b; Matt Scott, freshman, inf; Steve Mills, soph., c; Clint Boyd, soph., rhp.
Coach’s comment: “We’ve had these same kids for the past two to three years and it’s starting to pay off. They know what’s expected of them. They’re starting to understand what it takes to be successful.”
Outlook: Givens expects defense to be a key. The Bulldogs’ lefty-heavy pitching staff will cause teams problems. If they get consistent hitting and good defense, the Bulldogs could be a team nobody wants to face late in the year.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: PLAYERS TO WATCH Casey Hoorelbeke, senior, right-handed pitcher/first base, Coeur d’Alene Sennett Pierce, senior, third baseman, Lewiston Jeff Brennan, senior, right handed pitcher, Lake City Mike Mayton, senior, center fielder, Lewiston Shawn Warren, senior, center fielder/left-handed pitcher, Sandpoint Kurt Gosch, junior, left-handed pitcher/right fielder, Coeur d’Alene Rick Pettit, senior, left-handed pitcher/right fielder, Post Falls