School is out and the long, hot summer is upon us. The Maricopa Unified School District welcomes two new members to its ranks with Athletic Director Mark Cisterna and head football coach Chris McDonald.
McDonald joins a relatively new batch of head coaches at Maricopa High School with Andrew Pollak finishing his first year at the helm of the baseball team and Chris Ansley heading up the softball team for his fourth season.
Pollak’s baseball team started off the season well. Winners of six of their first ten games, the Rams looked to put to rest any questions about the team’s inability to stay competitive. Senior pitcher Dallas Speer was 3-1 and Tristan Hartley was 2-1 in that time frame and the future looked bright for the Rams.
Unfortunately, Maricopa would hit hard times and would only grab two more wins throughout the year to finish 8-17 overall with a 2-9 section record. It wasn’t all bad news for Coach Pollak and the varsity baseball squad as the February 27 game vs. the Arizona Charter Academy set the record for highest single-game on-base percentage (.733), in program history.
Even in the March 25 defeat at Catalina Foothills, the Rams tied the program record with fewest strikeouts (0) in a game.
Sophomore Tyler Rapp led all batters (15 + appearances) with a .323 batting average and paced the team with 19 runs scored. Junior Nick Diaz led the team with 12 RBI, three home runs, and was tied for the team lead in triples (1) and hits (21).
Senior Tristan Hartley shared the team lead for hits and led the Rams with two doubles Senior Noah Anderson tied for the team lead in triples.
Of the 11 teams in division II, section six, three players earned postseason accolades. Diaz was named to the 2nd team while Hartley and Rapp were selected as honorable mentions.
The softball team had a bit of a bumpy start to the 2014 season, losing three of its first four games including a 25-0 loss to Xavier Preparatory. Ansley’s squad would turn the season around when they hosted the annual Krystin Diehl Tournament, winning six straight and outscoring opponents 52-4 to take home the trophy.
The Lady Rams would split the next eight games with big wins over Horizon Honors, Seton Catholic and Coronado, scoring double digits but also suffering tough losses to Flowing Wells and Salpointe Catholic, both in Tucson.
A late season swoon doomed the softball team as they dropped their final nine games of the season. Heartbreaking losses to Cibola (12-10) and Poston Butte (8-6) ended the season and the Rams finished 11-16 overall, 1-8 in section.
Sophomore pitcher Yasmin Santa Cruz finished the season 3-1 with 3.75 ERA while fellow sophomore Amber Cramer ended up with a 4-3 record and a 3.85 ERA. Junior Victoria Andrade led all pitchers with 49 strikeouts.
On the offensive side of the ball, senior catcher Madison Moncel fueled the Rams with a monstrous .436 batting average and 34 hits. Moncel was tied for the team lead with 26 runs and three triples.
Keeping up with Moncel in runs was senior Chelsea Trejo while senior Madison Byrd and junior Shay Barney were tied in the triples category. Junior Isabel McCloskey powered the team with 35 RBI and nine doubles.
Moncel signed her letter of intent earlier this year and will be heading to Colby Community College in northwest Kansas. The educational futures for the outgoing seniors of Maricopa baseball and softball players are promising even without athletic scholarships.
When asked of Moncel if she knew of any players going off to college, Moncel replied “Yeah, actually, a lot of them. Mainly all of the baseball/softball players.”
Regardless of what the final records were, I would say that both coaches could be considered a success with all graduating seniors going off to college.