Helper eager to defend state title
After the euphoria of winning a State Championship in Legion Baseball last year, the Helper American Legion Baseball team has a lot of work ahead if they want a shot at defending their title.
And that's just the message Helper Head Coach Jeff Cisneros wants to get across to his team.
"We know how hard it was to win a state title last year," said Cisneros. "This team is very capable of getting back to that spot."
But to do so, Helper must overcome a handful of key losses in the lineup. Gone are key pieces such as Jaren McCourt, Derek Young, Dakota Cisneros, Jorden Mellen, Tyler Procarione and a few others.
But while Helper lost some key talent, they return a group comprised of talent and youth.
"It will be tough to replace some of our key players last year, but we've got some very good players returning this year," said Cisneros.
The Helper team has players from Carbon and Emery County as well as one player, Kyler Nelson, from Grand County participating this season.
Cisneros noted that the pitching staff can go nine-deep and pitchers Cole Fossat and Jarod Lessar started on the mound through the tournament games last season.
While pitching will be counted on, Cisneros is hoping that the team will gel together quickly, develop a good rhythm on offense and find a way to stay healthy through the season.
The Salt Lake Valley League, which Helper and Price compete in, should be more competitive this season, Cisneros said.
Helper will waste no time as they open the season against rival Price on Monday, June 9 at 6 p.m. at the Carbon High Baseball Field.
"It's always a tough game against Price," said Cisneros. "We've got to go out there and play well if we want to pick up a win."
Helper will host their first home game against Murray on Wednesday, June 11 at 7 p.m. at the Helper Baseball Field.