Broward High School Baseball
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8A District 15 Preview

The Nova Titans are ready to race to the finish for the district title.

State realignment shuffled the teams in 8A-15 back together again, as these four squads have battled in previous districts for many years before. Cooper City and Nova are coming off seasons in which they made it into the regional playoffs, while Hollywood Hills and McArthur are both working to get above .500 under second-year managers. With a traditional four-team district playoff bracket, each of these four clubs knows that one win is all that separates them from the district championship and a regional playoff berth.

Nova will be competing in a different district than St. Thomas Aquinas for the first time in a very long time, and manager Pat McQuaid admits that is something that changes the season by not having those regular meetings with their longtime rivals to fuel them through the schedule. There are plenty of other rivalries the club is looking forward to though.

“It has always been a good rivalry and Cooper City used to be in our district. We’ll miss St. Thomas, but we still have to play the teams in our district,” McQuaid said. “It’s teams that we know so we just have to see where we fit in. I would say Cooper City is the front-runner right now just because they have a lot of kids coming back and I thought Chris Delgado did a great job with them last year.”

The Cowboys won their district last season and are eager to meet the challenge in 8A-15 as they pursue another one. Even while the club tasted some success, Cooper City is also looking to improve from their regional quarterfinal loss and get its first state playoff victory under Delgado.

“Last year was a tough district and we got through it, but we fell a little short to Taravella,” Delgado said. “We had a very young team last year, so pretty much everybody came back. Most of my infielders were juniors and sophomores, so they are back, and I have my two horses pitching in Angel Almonte and Jeremy Browed. It is very bright this year because they have a year’s experience. They won that district championship and all these guys want more.”

Cooper CityTeam Page
2015 Record: 16-9
Manager: Chris Delgado
Key Returners: Parker Britton, Robert Shanley, Angel Almonte, Brandon Torres, Ryan Quillchini, Cole Kantor, Ethan Shea, Jeremy Brower, Cameron Stadler
Newcomers: Richard Silva, Chris Valencia, James Runnebaum, Devin Pole, Nate Gomez, Trevor Reto, Jake Walker, Douglas Weimann, Noah Izquierdo, Brett Lusardi, Brandon Newland, Ryan Rabinowitz, Joshua Valencia, Nate Rodriguez
Team strengths: Pitching

Cowboys manager Chris Delgado enters his second season at the helm, and now that the team has had the time to grow together he feels they are much more prepared for the challenges of this season ahead. The vision and the goals are clearer and the team is much more unified. Even the slightest bit of improvement makes Cooper City a legitimate contender, as the team won its first district title in 14 years last season.

That success has only made the players hungrier, as the goal for this year is to repeat as district champions and use that momentum to propel them to the state tournament. Delgado is confident that he has the quality pitching that will take, and if the team can continue to hit consistently like it did down the stretch last season it could prove to be all the difference. One thing is certain; the chemistry is there.

“We came together as a family and we performed in the situations that we had to perform in, such as two-out hitting, moving runners over and doing our jobs,” said senior Parker Britton, one of eight seniors returning to the team this year.

When teams play them, the Cowboys want their opponents to know they are facing a hard-working and well-bonded team. Such recognition comes with continued success over many years in a row, and this current group of players are eager to show that their squad is only going to get better and more dangerous with each game.

“I want them to respect us and I want a name for us,” said senior Angel Almonte. “When people play us I want them to say, ‘We are playing Cooper City so we have to buckle down’.”

Hollywood HillsTeam Page
2015 Record: 6-13
Manager: Thomas Marante
Key Returners: Jonathan Campbell, Justin Braden, Rafael Alvarez, Brian Acebo, Andre Palacios, Christopher Maria

McArthurTeam Page
2015 Record: 5-16
Manager: Oddibe McDowell
Key Returners: Brandon Frantz, Jordi Marte, Alex Maldonado, Brian Vallejo, Aaron Ward, Michael Gamble, Raymond Ortiz, Alejandro Gonzalez, Matthew Wong, Jack Bermudez

NovaTeam Page
2015 Record: 17-8
Manager: Pat McQuaid
Coaching Staff: Kyle Tabora, Brian Luebkert, Steve Alfonso, Clint Whitman
Key Returners: James Spatafora, Colbie O’Donnell, Scott Shaw, John Retureta, Jeremiah Bennett, Jake Trodik, Derek Cerda, Michael Gonzalez, Julio Diaz, Zach Henry, Gabe Paulsen, Isaiah Goodman
Newcomers: Daniel Hubert, Dylan Kahn, Andre Martinez, Matthew Patella, Tres Moore
Team strengths: Pitching Depth

The Titans like to use the fall to give everybody a chance to play. Once they are into the season they play their set lineup, but in the fall they want to give kids chances because there are always going to be surprises. Guys also get the chance to practice at multiple positions, all the catchers get work and all the pitchers throw. The fall is the chance for coaches to evaluate so they know what they can and cannot do and what they need to work on and who the best kids are. This fall was one of those years that everybody got opportunities.

“Every team is going to be different,” Titans manager Pat McQuaid said. “It depends on how our older kids gel and if they seize their opportunity. We haven’t really played yet and identified where people are going to be, but we’re going to have a lot of young kids pushing our older kids who had to sit and wait their turn. So that could either really flourish or there could be some friction there. We’re going to make mistakes and we have to let them grow through those mistakes.”

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