Varsity Baseball Starts Season With New Head Coach Darren Blakely


Brandon Seiler (left) Coach Darren Blakely (middle) Ivan Hostetler (right)

Jocelyn Reeder, reporter

Sahuaro’s baseball season has started and the Team Rosters are posted. The team recently got a new coach, Darren Blakely.

Coach Blakely played professional baseball for 11 years, reaching AAA. He played for the Angels, Yankees, Padres, and White Sox. Originally from Amityville, NY, Blakely grew up in North Carolina and graduated high school in Pensacola, Florida. In 1996-1998 he played collegiately at the University of Hawaii and was drafted by the Angels in the 5th round.  He was a combat vet in the U.S. Army and went on tour in Afghanistan in 2012-2013.  Coach Blakely graduated from the University of Arizona in 2016. This year is his first year coaching high school baseball.

When I asked Coach Blakely how he felt about coaching he replied, “I’m excited, ready to get going. The seniors were with one coach and that changed. They got on board and came together as a team.” There are a total of 14 seniors and he feels they have a strong core. He also plans to have a good success on the field and get the administrators to watch. The season kicked off with the annual Cowboy Up tournament over Rodeo.  This is the only tournament the team will be competing in this season.  Senior Stockton Pringle stated, “He wants to save our arm.”  Pitching is the team’s weak spot, but “We have a great defense,” commented senior Brandon Pelton.

Senior Brandon Seiler, feels this will be a really good season with no disappointments. “It would be a disappointment if we didn’t go far because I know we’re good. I feel it will be different, we will be a team that people will want to beat. ”  When I asked him about how he feels towards Coach Blakely he replied, ” I like him a lot. I feel like he is putting us on the road to success, and there are a lot of things planned.”

Ivan Hostetler, also a senior on varsity, feels this season will be pretty good under the new coach. When asked about how he feels towards the new coach, he responded, “He is a great guy. He has done a lot for me to help me get to the next level. There is nothing wrong with the old coach, we love the old guy.” Ivan feels this season is going to be successful, “I feel we will go even greater and make State and bring home some hardware.”

The team is senior-heavy this year.  There are 14 seniors: Brandon Seiler, Brandon Pelton, Stockton Pringle, Dylan Lane, Jace Hartnett, Justin Barnett, Ivan Hostetler, Jacob Adams, Roberto Mejia Jr., Christian Bustillos, Jorge Bustillos, Fernando Valdespino, Sam Kalberer, and Chris Peralta.