With the recent prep baseball season still fresh on the minds of Cedaredge High School's baseball team, Bruins' coach Terry Montoya scheduled a busy summer program which began in late May (29th) in Fruita.
The Bruins finished second in 3A WSL play with an 8-1 record and finished 12-12 overall after a 9-8 loss to Jefferson Academy in 3A Region 5 play.
Cedaredge had a very young team. Of the 13 members of this year's squad, there were three seniors, five juniors, four sophomores and one freshman. The Bruins' starting unit included two seniors, three juniors and four sophomores.
Cedaredge's lone league loss was to league champion Delta, 11-9.
Montoya expects his Bruins to be much more competitive in 2020 and was asked what the most important aspect of a summer program is to him. "The most important aspect of a summer program is growth. My summer program is so different from our spring program because the summer is when young players find out who they are as players. Summer is a great time for players to learn the system, and just go out and play. We don't care about wins and losses in the summer because I feel like we learn more from losses. Summer is great because it allows players to take risks, and take some chances figuring things out. It's a great time to work on different hitting techniques, pitching mechanics, and I love summer because I feel like that's where we find out who we are as a team," says Montoya.
Montoya sees the most difficult part of a summer program is trying to make it all fit. "We have numerous three-sport athletes and all of our coaches want to work with them (in their sport) in the summer. As coaches, we have to really do a good job scheduling practice and games."
Montoya admits he has changed his approach to his summer program since moving to Cedaredge. "Cedaredge is such a special place," says Montoya. In the Pueblo area his schedules included 60-plus games during the summer because that was the expectation there. His teams played almost every day and he admitted he missed a ton of time with his own family. "I look back on that and really regret all the time I missed. When we moved to Cedaredge, I had thoughts of doing the same things believing that was the key to success."
According to Montoya, "My biggest goal of our summer program is welcoming new family members to the program. My guys that have been with me take over the coaching a bit and teach the new guys what we do. My guys refer to our summer program as a bunch of fishermen with a baseball problem. We spend a lot of time camping and fishing together. I have learned that the experience together, both on and off the field is what makes our team complete because we genuinely care for each other and these guys are always doing things together. We just have fun and fish ... and mix in some baseball here and there."
The Bruins should be competitive in 2020 with all-conference players Sean Dale, Trey Geyer, Dusty Emig, Jacob Brown and Connor Brooks providing a strong nucleus for next season's team.
Cedaredge is at home Monday, June 24, with Central at 4 p.m. and has a doubleheader against Rifle on June 25 beginning at 3 p.m. A tournament slated for July 5 will be held in Buena Vista with the Telluride Baseball Tournament (July 25-28) marking the end of summer baseball for the Bruins.