SPRING PREVIEW: New coach takes on baseball team
The alpine environment of Truckee is hardly America’s heartland. Young boys are more likely to don a new pair of skis before learning the art of a good glove grease. Locally, baseball fields are few and far between and league enrollment is not breaking any national records.
Perhaps this is the reason Tahoe-Truckee High School has not won a state baseball title since 1994, when TTHS was still competing as a 2A program. Baseball had all but seen its last days in this mountain town until former Truckee principal Dennis LeBlanc took matters into his own hands.
LeBlanc wooed Truckee alumnae Jason Estabrook back to his home town to head up the school’s program for the 2001 season. A former collegiate player, Estabrook had been coaching baseball at Belhaven College in Jackson, Miss.
“It is going to be a tough road, but we will get there,” the new head coach admitted. Estabrook has inherited an older, more experienced team of 16 players to fill the dugout this season and is optimistic about their prospects.
“I have a team of amazing athletes who will be great players once we master the fundamentals of the game,” Estabrook noted.
The team is charging right into their 28-game schedule with a game today at Grass Valley. Of course, the new snow that continues to fall has limited the team’s ability to feel the grass and dirt of the field under their feet. On Monday, they were forced to run drills in the cramped space of the Wolverine gym.
Estabrook has ensured that his team will not be limited to the confines of indoor facilities, taking the boys down to Reno to practice a few times a week. This has played a vital role in boosting the preparedness and mental state of the players – an adjustment that Estabrook hopes will make the difference as the season gets under way.
The Wolverine roster is looking strong in the fielding and batting columns, though the pitching depth is not quite so promising. However, Coach Estabrook is not worried. He has considerable help from assistant coach Mike Ellis and former coach Joseph Ferrerra, who knows the team and the league’s competition better than the newly arrived head coach.
“We can turn this town into a baseball-loving environment yet,” Estabrook laughed.
As soon as the snow melts, that is.
Truckee High School
2001 Varsity Baseball Roster
2 David Larson 11
3 Brian Lowrance 12
5 Kyle Hunt 12
6 Justin Platt 12
7 Eric Detwiller 11
8 Gary Cook 12
9 Brad Sausser 11
10 Nick Ratto 12
11 Matt Valle 12
12 Chris Schaffnit 12
13 Matt Snatchko 12
14 Paul Smith 12
15 Billy Wrenn 12
16 Mike Holmes 12
18 TJ. Dwyer 11
19 Daniel Hall 11
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As seniors from North Tahoe collected diplomas this week, a group of Lakers continued another local tradition — capturing first place at the boys’ regional golf championship.