The Ticonderoga and Plattsburgh High School baseball teams set the standard for excellence last year in the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference by winning their divisions and sectionals before advancing to the NYSPHSAA Final Four.Both expect to be in the title hunt again this season. They will have competition, however, as several others clubs will be looking to grab some of the glory this time around.Division IBeekmantownThe key for the Eagles (7-11, 6-10 last season) is to play to their potential.Beekmantown has plenty of experience, including 11 returning players, and will have depth in pitching.Senior Matt Lamora and sophomore Andrew Price are key performers on the mound.Leading the Eagles at the plate and on defense will be seniors D.J. Barber, Cory McCleary, Chris Fish, Nick Furnia and Aaron Goldfarb.Other returning players who are projected as starters are seniors Anthony Harvey and Brendan Munro.Players lostJohnny LaPlante, Cameron Facteau, Daryl Johnson, Justin Garrand.Players returningD.J. Barber, Chris Falcon, Chris Fish, Aaron Goldfarb, Anthony Harvey, Matt Lamora, Cory McCleary, Brendan Munro, Andrew Price, David Provost, Nick Furnia.NewcomersTyler Cook, Allen Fessette, Matt Morrison, Reid Olsen, Matt Bull.Northeastern ClintonWith nine players returning to the varsity this season, the Cougars (6-10, 6-9) will have depth at every position.Senior Chris Matott will anchor the pitching staff, with returners Ryan Armstrong and Chester Hemmingway also helping out, along with varsity newcomer Cory Davison.Junior Cory Trombley returns in center field and will be needed to ignite Northeastern Clinton's offense from his leadoff spot.A couple of seniors — third baseman Kyle Rabideau and infielder/outfielder Sam Parker — are expected to help out the offense.Junior outfielder Chris Garrand and junior first baseman/pitcher Josh Chapman also return as starters. Newcomer Brett Bosley, a freshman catcher, takes over behind the plate for Matt Welch.Finding a consistent pitching staff is a concern going into the season.Players lostRyan Hampton, Matt Welch.Players returningCory Trombley, Kyle Rabideau, Sam Parker, Chris Matott, Chester Hemmingway, Ian Lapierre, Chris Garrand, Josh Chapman, Ryan Armstrong.NewcomersBobby Peper, Cory Davison, Josh Bechard, Adam Bechard, Brett Bosley.PeruThe Indians (13-5, 13-3) should be a serious threat for division honors with a deep pitching staff that includes seven hurlers — four with varsity experience.Senior Nick Lamica, the 2006 CVAC Most Valuable Player, returns while Phil McGee, Mat Turner and Alec Currier are also back to give Peru four experienced varsity arms on the mound. All four players are also key performers at other positions when not pitching.Another returning starter is senior catcher John Mackintosh, and senior infielder Jessie Collins is also back on the varsity.The returning players have set high goals for the team.Newcomers who are expected to start include junior third baseman/outfielder Nick Callioras, junior second baseman Tyler Hoey and sophomore third baseman/outfielder Aaron Tenbuuren. Those three are also capable of doing some pitching.Players lostCliff Reynolds, Steve Mills, Connor Curtin, Chad Premore, Caleb Remillard.Players returningJessie Collins, Phil McGee, Nick Lamica, John Mackintosh, Mat Turner, Alec Currier.NewcomersNick Callioras, Granger Gosnell, Tyler Hoey, Robert Holdridge, Andrew McCormick, Eli Remillard, Aaron Tenbuuren.PlattsburghThe Hornets (18-3, 14-2) have a difficult act to follow after winning divisional and sectional titles last year on their way to the Class B Final Four.Helping out, however, will be the return of eight players off last year's team.Plattsburgh will have its greatest strength up the middle with three-year starter Tory Bouyea at shortstop, senior Justin Mahan at second base, senior Chris Goodell behind the plate and CVAC All-Star pitcher Pat Shaughnessy, a junior.Senior outfielder Kenny Stay has moved from left to center.Other projected starters for the Hornets are returner Adam Tobrocke in the outfield, as well as two newcomers — junior catcher/outfielder Brandon Hatch and sophomore pitcher/first baseman Sam Purdom.Finding pitching depth to go with Shaughnessy, the only returning pitcher with significant experience, and having hitting depth throughout the line-up are team concerns.Players lostJustin Bouyea, Randy Brown, Justin Christian, Joe Cross, Brian Elliott, Kevin Jessey, Casey Myers, Jake Tolosky.Players returning
Jimmy McCartney, Tory Bouyea, Adam Tobrocke, Justin Mahan, Pat Shaughnessy, Kenny Stay, Carlos Lopez, Chris Goodell.NewcomersBrandon Hatch, Joey Reif, Jon Edwards, Sam Purdom, Gino Blando, Brandon Rougeau.SaranacThe Chiefs (11-6, 10-5) were right in the thick of things last season and figure to be in the title hunt this time around as well.Team chemistry, overall team speed, pitching depth, defensive experience up the middle, confidence in the batting order one through nine and a strong No. 1 starter in senior Shawn Wood, a Division I All-Star a year ago, are all strengths.Wood, who will also see time at third base, is a returning starter, along with junior catcher Mark Eggleston, a CVAC All-Star last year, junior shortstop/pitcher Nick Desroches and sophomore center fielder/pitcher Cody Wood.Senior returner Geoff Kiroy will see time on the mound and in the outfield.Saranac has added nine newcomers.Projected starters among those newcomers include Bryan Tedford at first base, either Adam Guillette or John Canning at second base, Richard Chase at third base, and a combination of Cody Russell, Shawn Derocher, Andy Nephew and Canning working out in the outfield.Morgan Stanton will likely play first base when Tedford is on the mound, while Kevin Cross will back Desroches up at shortstop.Getting pitching help from last year's junior varsity players and staying focused on team goals are keys for the Chiefs' success.Players lostJustin Besaw, Justin Buskey, Matt Lavarnway, Chris Strack, Chris Chagnon, David Gordon, Travis Marshall.Players returningShawn Wood, Geoff Kiroy, Nick Desroches, Mark Eggleston, Cody Wood.NewcomersShawn Derocher, John Canning, Adam Guillette, Richard Chase, Kevin Cross, Andy Nephew, Cody Russell, Morgan Stanton, Bryan Tedford.Saranac LakeNumbers won't be a problem for the Red Storm (5-10, 5-9), who have 18 players in all, including seven who return to the varsity.Saranac Lake is an athletic group, with good baseball sense, that is working hard to be a force in the league.Returning senior starters include catcher Erich Posdzich, senior left fielder Matt Rutledge, shortstop Kyle Ryan and pitcher/outfielder Ed West.Seniors first baseman Ryan Harvey and third baseman Michael Woodruff also return and will be starters this year.A trio of junior newcomers — second baseman/pitcher Dan Drake, pitcher Nick Fortune and outfielder Chris Mayville — are likely starters as well.Players lostBrian Abrams, Dan Bullis, David Landolfe, Andrew Dawson, Bill Bova, Dan Korony, Anthony Tyler, Seamus Lewis, Dane DeGrace, Chris Edeman.Players returningRyan Harvey, John Henry, Erich Posdzich, Matt Rutledge, Kyle Ryan, Ed West, Michael Woodruff.NewcomersTravis Dawson, Dan Drake, Nick Fortune, Sean Fudger, Ben Kivlen, Bobby LaVair, Chris Mayville, Hector Rodriquez, John Rodriquez, Murphy Stringer, Andrew Wright.Division IIAuSable ValleyThe Patriots (5-13, 4-12) have the talent and experience returning to be a force in both divisional and sectional play.AuSable Valley returns 10 players in all, including seven starters.The Patriots will be strong on the mound with three returning players — junior John Michael Bresette, senior Andrew Bombard and sophomore Mike Plumadore.Seniors Mike Douglas, Tyler Cote and Wayne Duprey are all entering their third year on the varsity and will be counted on heavily for big seasons.Junior outfielder Josh Haywood also returns and is a projected starter, along with newcomer Ryan Slater, a senior outfielder.The plate is the area the Patriots need to improve on from last year. Lack of run production cost AuSable Valley more victories.Players lostJim Liska, Bert Drake.Players returningAndrew Bombard, Mike Douglas, Tyler Cote, Wayne Duprey, John Michael Bresette, Ricky Lee, Kyle Fuller, Josh Douglass, Josh Haywood, Mike Plumadore.NewcomersRyan Slater, Jamie Fuller, Kyle Whitney, Wes Mitchell.MoriahThe Vikings (8-13, 4-12) are counting on their experience to improve on both their conference and overall records.Moriah returns its entire starting infield from a year ago — catcher Dustin Fernandez, first baseman Pat Wallace, second baseman Mike Corson, shortstop Rich Larmore and third baseman Donny Tesar.Also returning to the varsity are pitcher/outfielder Nick Popp, outfielder Doug Mauran, outfielder/pitcher Adam Clark and first baseman/designated hitter Dave Mandy.Pitcher/first baseman Caleb Armstrong, who missed last year with a knee injury, played in 2005 and returns this season.Moriah's concern heading into the season is getting consistent pitching and outfield play.
Players lostAndrew Stanley, Dillon Briggs, Nick Slattery.Players returningNick Popp, Rich Larmore, Doug Mauran, Mike Corson, Donny Tesar, Pat Wallace, Dustin Fernandez, Adam Clark, Dave Mandy.NewcomersNick Martin, Keith Karkoski, Ben Gifaldi, Caleb Armstrong.Northern AdirondackThe Bobcats (7-9, 7-8) will need to get good mileage out of their younger players.That's because NAC has a lot of them — 11 of the 14 players on this year's roster are newcomers, giving the Bobcats one of their youngest teams in years.Only senior pitcher/infielder T.J. Brunell, junior second baseman John Hicks and junior pitcher/center fielder Tyler Brassard return to the varsity.Among the newcomers expected to start this season include juniors Dylan Lashway (third baseman/first baseman) and Mitchell Rowe (pitcher/center fielder), along with sophomores Tyler Smith (catcher) and Pete Patterson (infielder).Players lostTravis Love, Nick Trombley, Kyle Brassard, James Alexander, Scott Matthews.Players returningT.J. Brunell, John Hicks, Tyler Brassard.NewcomersDylan Lashway, Mitch Rowe, Tyler Smith, Pete Patterson, Andy McDonald, Walt Wilson, Brad Petrashune, Tom Page, Brandon Poupore, Zach Burger, Adam Lord.Seton CatholicLow numbers on both the varsity and junior varsity levels continue to plague the Knights (10-8, 9-7), who once again lack depth.There are just 12 players on this year's varsity, including one player who is still recovering from a leg injury.The good news is that Seton Catholic, which finished second to Ticonderoga last season, returns its four pitchers from a year ago — seniors Dylan Raville, Kellen Loughan, Jimmy Akey and Pat Murnane.Senior infielder Evan Howley and catcher/infielder Jon Ketcham also return as starters.Raville, Loughan and Howley are three-year starters.Among the six newcomers, infielder/outfielder Matt Trombly, outfielder Billy Bower and infielder/outfielder Kent Fessette experienced some playing time late last year following the junior varsity season.Team defense is expected to be a strength, but the Knights, who have overachieved the past two seasons, need to cut down on their strikeouts and put more balls in play to continue that trend.Players lostTom Cosgro, Kevin O'Connell, Chad Hebert, Nick Wyand, Nick DeMarte.Players returningDylan Raville, Kellen Loughan, Evan Howley, Jimmy Akey, Pat Murnane, Jon Ketcham.NewcomersJoe Champagne, Matt Trombly, Kent Fessette, Bill Bower, Tyler Mulcahy, Mike Moore.TiconderogaThe Sentinels (14-1, 20-2) are going to have a tough task accomplishing what they did a year ago by winning the Division II title, the Section VII Class C crown and finishing second in the state.But Ticonderoga still has plenty of talent to look for more championships.The Sentinels return two All-Stars in senior catcher/pitcher Zach LaPointe and senior third baseman John Breitenbach.Senior Steve Burris will be key on the mound, along with juniors Hunter Denno and Matt Streeter.Senior center fielder James Lenhart returns as a starter and varsity returners Adam Pond and Cory Phinney are vying for starting spots.Newcomers Krys Ross and Todd Carr are also battling to start.The Sentinels did lose some key talent to graduation, including three pitchers — one of whom is standout John Dreimiller. Lack of varsity experience on the mound is a concern.Players lostJohn Dreimiller, Tom Jebb, Chris Besson, Drew Trombley, Deven Slattery.Players returningSteve Burris, Zach LaPointe, John Breitenbach, Matt Streeter, James Lenhart, Adam Pond, Cory Phinney.NewcomersKrys Ross, Hunter Denno, Dan Steitz, Todd Carr, Kris Whitford.Note: No information was received from Lake Placid.