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The 2010 Sedona Red Rock High School baseball season should be quite interesting, especially for those who follow baseball in the Verde Valley.

No more than three years ago, these same kids who are sophomores and juniors now at the high school level won the District 10 championship at the junior’s level, the first to do so in Sedona history.


Who was their coach you might ask? Well that would be first-year Sedona Head Coach Rob Henry, who was hired in the off-season to take hold of a struggling program.

In 2009, Sedona finished a dismal 6-14-1 and was 1-11 in 3A West region play, quite a disappointment after the squad went 10-12 [4-8, 3A West] in 2008.

The 2008 record was much improved from the previous two seasons where the Scorpions were at an all-time low, going 9-40 [4-20, 3A West] in that time span.

So to go 6-14-1 in 2009 was a step back for sure.

The influx of talent, however, at the freshman level last season was visible and with every one of those kids coming back this season, 2010 should be a fun ride.

What is also important to mention is Henry is the fifth head coach for the Scorpions in as many seasons, but from the looks of it, he’s here to stay awhile.

“We’re a young team and this is my first year as coach, but I plan on being here a long time, I have big plans for this program,” Henry said.

The Scorpions lost only one senior to graduation last season in Mike Karp, who was a solid leader and team captain in 2009.

Top Returners

Sedona returns almost everyone that played in 2009 and should have the same lineup but with plenty more experience.

The Scorpions will have only four seniors on this year’s squad. Two of them, center fielder Jimmy Grossi and relief pitcher Josh Dibiasi, played last year.

In the junior class, Dylan Rose should start at shortstop this season for the Scorpions while Blake Barker makes his way in the outfield and Tyler Hollmann gets most of his reps at second base.

Hollmann should be in the starting rotation for the Scorpions this season.

Also, junior Ryan Lillie is back and will see time in the outfield as well.

The sophomore class is where it’s at, however, with six players getting major time on the diamond last season as freshmen.

Sophomore J.R. Henry should be behind home plate to start this season while Arley Leyva, or “Big Pappi” as his teammates like to call him, will man the first base position.

Sophomore Bradley Cox will fight for outfield time this year while Jack Johnson continues to improve on the mound and could challenge for the No. 3 spot in the rotation.

Sophomore Andrew Rippy returns this season after playing only five games last year after injuring his arm, and Morgan Rice continues to push Henry behind home plate for a starting position.

“Morgan [Rice] has showed me a lot this season. I think he’s really improved from last year and he’s going to make J.R. [Henry] work,” Rob Henry said.

Top Newcomers

The Scorpions have several newcomers this season who could make an impact sooner, rather than later.

Sophomore Javier Fimbres is a solid player and missed all of last season with a leg injury. Fimbres is an infielder and may push for starting role at third base this season.

Senior Pedro Ortega Jr. is back as well, having taken a year off and may have a leg up to start at third base.

Junior Troy Loparco returns to Sedona after leaving for New York one year ago. Loparco actually played baseball for Sedona as a freshman.

Loparco may be in the starting rotation with Hollmann and Johnson this season, and will see plenty of time in center field.

There were also two seniors to come out in Ramon Escamilla and Eduardo Machado who will make the squad this season.

“I think we have a lot of solid talent coming out this season that are new and we should be able to plug holes. We’re deep in many positions,” Henry said.


The Scorpions will rely on their team speed this season according to Henry, who couldn’t stop talking about it at practice Wednesday, Feb. 24.

“We have a lot of team speed which will help us this year. I’ve been preaching our expectation to make the state playoffs. I don’t care how we do it, we just need to do it,” Henry said.

With only two seniors this season it may not be the Scorpions’ time just yet to contend for a 3A West region championship, but it is certainly possible this year for this squad to make it to the 3A state playoffs.

The last time Sedona made the 3A state playoffs was 2004 when Anthony Loduca took the team to the final four, but they lost to Higley High School, 14-6.

If the Scorpions can finish with a .500 record or better, it’s mission accomplished for Henry, allowing the Scorpions to leapfrog into 2011 where they might strive to win the whole thing.

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