ETV News stock photo by Jeff Barrett
Coming off an excellent season that saw Carbon battle through the consolation bracket and reach the state championship game, the Dinos are certainly excited to be back on the diamond. Carbon is hoping not just to make it back to the championship game, but hoist the first-place trophy at the end of the year.
While the Dinos did lose five starters from a season ago, they believe they have the players to plug into those roles. “They’re big shoes to fill,” mentioned head coach Jeff Cisneros when talking about the five departed seniors. But he quickly added, “Guys got a lot of time last year and over the summer and should fill those shoes. Everyone had a great summer and put in a lot of work.” That might be an understatement as the 17U team won the American Legion title this past summer and the 19U team was right there in the end.
The Dinos bring back Rylan Hart (a First-Team All-State player), Jordan Fossat, Wyatt Falk and Ridge Nelson, to name a few. While there are additional contributors returning, Coach Cisneros is impressed with the depth of his squad. “Everyone is going to be competing for playing time. I couldn’t give you a starting lineup today.”
Carbon will have another deep pitching rotation, which allows the players time to build up their arm strength and keep them fresh for the home stretch. Defense is expected to be solid, both in the infield and outfield while everyone has the ability to be a threat at the plate. “If we play to our ability, I don’t see any weak areas,” added Cisneros.
Carbon will have one of the tougher schedules as Coach Cisneros has intentionally loaded up the preseason with talented 4-6A matchups. That will only help the Dinos prepare for a tough Region 12 and their ultimate goal, a state title.
The Dinos will be looking to defend their region championship, but it will not come easy. Emery and Richfield will be contenders while Canyon View has historically been a solid program. “We will have the strongest region in 3A,” said Cisneros. “I expect all four of those teams to be in the top 10 in the RPI at the end.”
At the state level, the defending champs, Grantsville, will be strong, as will Juan Diego and Juab while Morgan has been up and coming. It all makes for an exciting season as the Dinos begin their hunt for a state championship.