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Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week

The following article was posted on February 4th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 48 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 48

Victor Heredia

St. Joseph High School varsity baseball

BY KRISTINA SEWELL


VICTOR HEREDIA
PHOTO BY KRISTINA SEWELL

St. Joseph High School’s varsity baseball is underway with new coach Victor Heredia leading the charge. According to Athletic Director Tom Mott, Heredia has been on the job for three weeks. He was previously the head coach of the junior varsity team.

“The kids like him, and we are very excited to have him take over,” Mott said.

Heredia is a 16-year veteran coach of baseball: He has coached players from ages 13 to 18, and he was a coach for Nipomo High School baseball from 2003 to 2008.

“I played at Arroyo Grande and some semi-pro ball. I got into coaching after that,” Heredia said. “I’ve learned how to motivate and speak to kids. You become a father figure, and I get enjoyment from seeing them do well.”

For this season, Heredia said he is looking forward to getting the Knights program on the right track.

“This year our main goal is to win games and make the playoffs,” he said. “At the junior varsity level, we’re developing players to compete at the varsity level.”

The Knights coach said the teams to beat this season are former league champions Righetti High School and Arroyo Grande High School, but Heredia feels it’s a task that his players are ready for.

“These players motivate themselves and are very excited to get the season going,” Heredia said.

While the start of baseball season is still a short way away, Heredia said the focus at practice has been getting the all around game going.

“Offensively we need to work on spraying the ball and working as a team,” he said. “We don’t want selfish players.”

The team this year is confident in its offensive abilities; Heredia said he has three solid starting pitchers, but is looking to add more depth to the hurling staff. This coach’s his philosophy comes down to cultivating a mentally tough defense.

“My philosophy is defense and conditioning,” he said. “You have to be mentally tough.”