7. WARWICK RAIDERS
COACH: Todd Barker
LAST YEAR: 10-10, 9-9 (T-6th)
TOP RETURNEES: OF Jahleel Sewer, OF/P Dallas Bevins, UTL Brandon Delgado.
TOP NEWCOMERS: SS/2B Mikey Delgado, UTL Triston Stuples, C Devin Frizzell, IF Michael Wiechman.
OUTLOOK: The Raiders are going through something of a youth movement, but they’re fortunate to return senior Sewer in center field. He was an All-PD pick last season and might be the district’s fastest playe. Seniors Bevins and Delgado also are back and will be counted on.
THE COACH SAYS: “We will be very young, but I think we will play good fundamental baseball. This is a team built to compete and get better as the season goes on. I lost seven starters from last year and we are filling in with youth. We will start three 9th graders and a sophomore most games.”
8. DENBIGH PATRIOTS
COACH: Chris Ochsenfeld
LAST YEAR: 4-15, 4-14 (8th)
TOP RETURNEES: P/IF Keith Mays, 3B/P Ben Sifen, SS Tim Perry, CF John Garcia, 1B/P David Kearney, C Thomas Morgan, UTL Ryan Rhodes, OF Patrick Prosser.
TOP NEWCOMERS: 1B/P Austin Edmonds, OF/P Troy Bryant.
OUTLOOK: The Patriots struggled last year but have a lot of the same players back, which can either mean improvement or more of the same. Mays (2-6) is a much better pitcher than his record shows. Sifen and Perry are experienced seniors who should make a difference.
THE COACH SAYS: “For us to be successful, we need to play solid defense and make the routine plays. Offensively, we have to do better with situational hitting and squaring up on balls. We have multiple pitchers who have experience, but we have to attack the zone.”
9. PHOEBUS PHANTOMS
COACH: James “Feenie” Carter
LAST YEAR: 2-16, 2-16 (9th)
TOP RETURNEES: P/IF James Voris, P/SS Caleb Ward, CF Dominique Holt, RF Timothy Garris, 2B/P Tommy Baacke, LF Mikal Lee.
TOP NEWCOMERS: 3B Seth Roby.
OUTLOOK: The Phantoms’ only wins last year came against Heritage, but they had five losses by four runs or less. That includes a 5-4 loss to Gloucester. But six starters are back, and it’s Carter’s hope that the experience will mean more wins.
THE COACH SAYS: “Voris and Ward will carry the load on the mound. The pitchers have gotten better with more experience. I think we'll sneak up on some people.”
10. HERITAGE HURRICANES
COACH: Rolando Pierce
LAST YEAR: 0-18, 0-18 (10th)
RETURNEES: P/1B Charles Harrison, IF/C/P Keenan Wilson, OF Gary Webster, 3B/RF Adrian Blount, C Juwan Madden.
TOP NEWCOMERS: 2B Shomari Wright, 3B/1B Dominick Crosby, 1B/OF Rasheed Branch, OF Montez Ruffin.
OUTLOOK: The Hurricanes have lost 57 consecutive district games, so step one in turning this program around is ending that skid. Pierce will be in his first full season after replacing Doug Williams at the midpoint last spring. He’ll rely on the veterans and some talented newcomers, and maybe the Hurricanes can break through.
THE COACH SAYS: “I am expecting this to be a year that we start to see the fruits of our rebuilding process. I have a great group of kids who, through the coaching change and loss of key players, continue to work hard and believe.”