Senior leaders weren’t in surplus in the 1A Evergreen last season. Including league co-MVPs Isaac and Isaiah Pierce out of Montesano only six 12th graders made first-team all league, and three of those came from an Eatonville squad that went two-and-out in districts. For everyone else, just about everyone is coming back.
That’s the case for Tenino more than just about anyone else. After a one-win season in 2021, the Beavers came a game away from making the state tournament last season, and return just about every piece to try to get over the hump this time around.
Austin Gonia will lead the Beavers from behind the dish, and at it as well. The junior backstop went two games without recording an out to begin the season, complete with two doubles and three RBIs. Going up the middle of the field, Cody Strawn and Kellan Knox return with all-league experience at shortstop and center field, respectively, and Will Feltus brings a big stick with him.
Tenino isn’t the only squad bringing a lot back, though. Elma — which got hot at the right time to run through the district tournament last season — brings back three all-league first-teamers in Gibson Cain, Grant Vessey, and Blake Corr.
Down its MVP brothers, Montesano still has three first-team all-leaguers on the roster as well. The Bulldogs ran away with the 1A Evergreen last year — save for two historic losses to Tenino — but stumbled against 1A TriCo teams in the district tournament, failing to make it out to the state dance.
Eatonville may be the only team having to do any sort of rebuilding, with Payton Hanly back to lead a Cruiser squad facing more turnover than anyone else in the league, and Hoquiam will look to improve on a winless league season last year.
Coach: Ryan Schlesser (fifth)
2022 record: 15-9 (districts)
Player(s) to watch: Cody Strawn, Austin Gonia, Kellan Knox