INDIAN TRAIL – A new head coach, a revamped culture and an emphasis on teamwork led the Sun Valley Middle School JV and varsity baseball teams to unchartered success on the diamond this season.
Sun Valley, which opened in 1961, has never won a county baseball championship. Well, not until this year anyway.
This season, the Sun Valley Middle School JV team took home the title after defeating Porter Ridge 10-2 in late May.
Not to be outdone, the Sun Valley Middle School varsity baseball team followed suit, ending a 57-year drought with a pair of county titles.
And there were many reasons for the Spartans’ success this year.
“New head coach Anthony Dionisio, manager Jim Chaffin and the Spartan coaching staff worked tirelessly to ensure that the varsity and junior varsity teams had productive practices, both indoor and outdoor, and conditioning workouts that would make them a force to be reckoned with on the diamond,” said Christina Valentine, a team parent. “Dionisio’s coaching style is much different than any other instructor who has worked with the program.”
Valentine said Dionisio implemented an academy-style approach to practices that culminated with more practice reps for the players. That led to increased confidence at the plate, on the mound and in the field. The results paid off across the board as both the Sun Valley Middle School JV and varsity teams winning county championships.
The Sun Valley Middle School varsity team won a 6-5 game over Weddington and finished with a 16-2 record. The middle school JV team finished with a 10-2 mark after blasting Porter Ridge in the championship game.
With the Sun Valley High School JV team strong and the Spartans varsity team posting a winning record this season, the future appears bright for the program.