Valencia High School
in Valencia California has one of the best baseball programs not only in the state, but also in the country.
They've been league champs 7 times since 2002, and they've been involved in the states Division 1 Championship brackets every year since 2001.
I recently had the chance to talk to Valencia's Head Coach Jared Snyder about their recent trip to Memphis where they won all 4 games of the USA Classic.
I also asked Coach Snyder about his playing experience, coaching experiences, and how he views his current squad.
Here's how it went down;
Q. (BASEBALL TRENCHES) You've been the head coach there since 1998.
When you got there, in what condition was the program?
A. (COACH SNYDER) It was a young program that needed a lot of work.
A. (COACH SNYDER) I have outstanding Assistant Coaches who I trust completely and allow them to do their jobs.
A. (COACH SNYDER) The relationships that you make with so many different people from around the country.
A. (COACH SNYDER) I have played and coached under some outstanding people including Mike Knight, Bud Murray, Jerry Weinstein, Bruce Kim, Sandy Alomar SR, Gary Mathews, and Jimmy Piersall the one thing they all preach is work ethic.
A. (COACH SNYDER) This team has played every game hard with a passion that I haven't seen in a Valencia team in a long time.
A. (COACH SNYDER) This was the best trip for our team to take.
A. (COACH SNYDER) AJ is a natural hitter.
It amazes me that he
is only a sophomore with how strong and smooth he
is in his
is very disciplined and has power to all fields but the most amazing part about AJ is his
power to the middle and opposite field.
I have seen a lot of hitters in high school but not many who can consistently drive balls to the opposite field gaps for extra base hits and home runs.
The one thing about AJ I am most proud of him of is how hard he
has worked to become a solid defender.
Everyone knew he
could hit but now he
is one of our best outfielders who has increased his
arm strength tremendously, and has filled in on the infield and did a great job when we had injuries early.
A. (COACH SNYDER) They are both outstanding catchers but Brian is also our best first baseman and I am lucky to have both of these kids because your last line of defense is at these two positions.
A. (COACH SNYDER) I think Quincy can do both and do both well.
A. (COACH SNYDER) Shane biggest improvement is how he is handling adversity.
This is a young man that hates to fail and has figured out that in baseball it is going to happen and has adapted very well this year.
biggest improvement is his
capability to now drive the ball to all fields.
has learned to let the ball travel and trust his
hands and his
numbers this year are a result of the work he
has put in offensively.
A. (COACH SNYDER) He is focused and has grown and matured over the last year.
He has worked very hard with our Strength Coach this year to prepare him and by doing this he has put himself in a position to have success.
has been our guy on the mound and every outing he
has come up big for us.
competes and doesn't fear any hitter.
This is the biggest stride he
has made, he
is not afraid to challenge anyone at anytime.
mentality is if you are going to beat me you will have to hit my best pitch that day.
This approach on the mound has made him one of the effective pitchers in this area.
work ethic between starts is what has made him so consistent this year.
has a routine between starts that has allowed him to stay strong and focused.
A. (COACH SNYDER) He is struggling right now.
is DH due to a sore elbow and just hasn't hit his
A. (COACH SNYDER) This is new for a lot of these kids.
The national exposure they are getting is great as long as they keep putting in the work in and playing hard I think they will be ok.
Q. (BASEBALL TRENCHES) Over the years you've dealt with a lot of graduating classes.
Is it completely different every year when it comes to how the kids approach the game.
A. (COACH SNYDER) No question.