Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Thunder Mountain High School Falcons baseball team will open season play at the Sitka Invitational this weekend.
The Sitka Wolves will also host the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears, Ketchikan Kings and Petersburg Vikings.
The Falcons bring a smaller number of players to the field but should still have the skills honed in the various youth baseball clubs of Juneau.
First year head coach Joe Tompkins said the Falcons’ fans can expect to see a lot of energy on the field.
“They are scrappy, they have heart and they have been working hard,” Tompkins said. “We are really young and we are going to have to scrap for everything we get… but the kids will never give up, they are going to be passionate, they are going to be scrappy and work for every thing they get because they are not that big of a team, first off, there is not a lot of backup and they will give it every thing they have, a lot of heart.”
Tompkins, who was an assistant coach for 10 seasons, said senior returners Josh Carte and Oliver Mendoza and junior returners Preston Williams, Peyton Lewis and Isaiah Nelson will be relied on to steady the team.
“Last year they, and along with the sophomore class, everyone was primed and ready to go but there was no season,” he said. “Those guys have really continued to put in the work and are leaders.”
Tompkins said being a head coach will bring bigger challenges.
“You just have to look for different things and you have to deal with a lot of different things like more contact with school and more contact with parents and trying to get more fundraising… when you were an assistant you just showed up and worked with the kids and that was wonderful because head coach Bill McCauley did all the work.”
Tompkins also noted the contributions that come from his coaching staff and looks forward to finally getting the Falcons out on the field.
Assistant coaches are Todd Luck, Shawn Williams, Justin Fuller, Jeremy Ludeman, Jason Hart, and Jim Collins.
Tompkins said field positions are not final and will change as the season progresses.
The TMHS roster is as follows:
Seniors - Oliver Mendoza (SS, P, 2B); Tyler Halverson (1B, OF, P); Josh Carte (C, LF, P); Josh Rosenbruch (C, OF, P); Grant Lathrop (OF).
Juniors - Preston Williams (U, P); Peyton Lewis (P, 1B, OF); Isaiah Nelson (SS, P, C); Maliki Souksi (OF).
Sophomores - Rory Hays (C, IF, OF, P); Tyler Womack (OF, C).
Freshmen - Karen Ludeman (1B, IF, OF, P); Kaeden Quinto (1B, OF, P); Liam Hart (3B, OF, P); Anthony Andersen (2B, OF).