Player of the Year Finalists
Luigi Albano-Dito, Justin-Siena senior
He was not only voted by coaches to the All-Vine Valley Athletic League First Team, but was third in VVAL Offensive Player of the Year voting and made the VVAL All-Star Team.
He hit .373 with .472 on-base and .533 slugging percentages, ranking second in the league with 28 hits and tying for third with eight doubles while adding two triples, 13 runs, 11 RBIs and seven stolen bases.
“He also lined out 11 times on the year and certainly was someone to be feared every time up,” head coach Jeremy Tayson said, who also pitched 28 1/3 innings with a 3.71 ERA over 11 appearances and won the team’s postseason Allen Rossi Award.
Trent Maher, Napa junior
The All-VVAL First Team selection hit .361 in 22 games for the Grizzlies, notching 22 hits, striking out only five times, and stealing six bases. He also made nine pitching appearances, recording a 4.1 ERA.
He played mostly in center field, but also at third base and first base. “Trent was a team captain, exhibiting strong leadership skills in addition to excellent play,” head coach Jason Chatham said. “He has good speed, pop, bat control and a great arm, and it makes him a very complete, all-around player.”
Tyree Reed, American Canyon sophomore
Despite having to sit out until March 20 because he had transferred from Will C. Wood, he was named Most Valuable Player of the Vine Valley Athletic League by coaches.
Overall, he hit a team-high .481 with 25 hits, 19 RBIs, five doubles, four triples, .565 on-base and .739 slugging percentages, and eight stolen bases in nine attempts. In VVAL play, he hit .525 with 21 hits, 14 RBIs, a .596 on-base and .725 slugging clips, and six steals in as many tries. “
Tyree has been a tremendous teammate whether he was able to play or not,” head coach Matt Brown said. “He was constantly encouraging his teammates and celebrating with them even when he was not able to participate. Once he was finally able to step on the field, the whole vibe of our team changed for the better. He played center field and made some plays that a high school kid has no business making, and the other coaches in our league recognized that.”
Jesus Rojas-Mendoza, Calistoga junior
Also a standout in football and basketball, he led the Wildcats with a .482 batting clip, 20 RBIs, seven doubles and two home runs. He was also 17 for 17 in stolen-base attempts. During one 2½-week stretch of league play, he was 13 for 20 with 19 RBIs, four doubles and two home runs.
Eli Wood, Vintage senior
The third-year varsity starter logged by far the most innings on the mound for the Crushers, 51 1/3, going 6-2 with 62 strikeouts, 22 walks and a 1.50 ERA.
He also hit .343 with a team highs of 29 RBIs, two triples, two home runs and 14 walks, and also had 24 hits, four doubles and 13 runs scored. Headed for UC Berkeley to play as a recruited walk-on, he was the Vine Valley Athletic League’s Pitcher of the Year and First Team All-VVAL.
“He moved from third base, where he was our best defender, to shortstop this year, a spot that has a glorious history here at Vintage,” head coach Rich Anderson said. “This did not intimidate Eli at all.
He had his best year ever, committing only six errors and making many spectacular plays at short. I cannot remember somebody elevating his game by this much in his senior year. He did all this while also maintaining a 4.62 GPA.”
Pitcher of the Year
Stacy Nelson III, St. Helena sophomore
Head coach Darrell Quirici said Nelson was the Saints’ “Iron Mike,” pitching 83 innings, striking out 86 with an ERA of 2.024 and a WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched) of 1.024. Nelson also hit .314 at the plate with a .446 on-base percentage and drove in 14 runs.
He was voted team Co-Most Valuable Player, and was a unanimous All-North Central League I First Team selection and All-State nominee.
“In our 4-0 win over Healdsburg, he gave up a single to the leadoff hitter and threw seven hitless innings after that – and, unbeknownst to me, he had a fever,” the coach said.
“In a 6-4 win over Cloverdale, he gave up three hits and four runs in the first inning and didn’t give up another hit after that. In our playoff loss to Middletown, he gave up two hits in the first inning and held that very good team hitless for the remainder of the game. He also pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings in our suspended, extra-inning game when we handed Fort Bragg its only league loss of the season.”
Nick Andrews, Justin-Siena freshman
Riley Carlos, American Canyon sophomore
Nolan Dunkle, Justin-Siena junior
Omar Gonzalez, Napa junior
Adan Rodriguez, Calistoga junior
Offensive Player of the Year
Jordan Fisher, American Canyon sophomore
The All-Vine Valley Athletic League First Team selection led the Wolves in batting average (.418) for the second year in a row in the leadoff spot while tallying 28 hits, 33 runs scored, 15 RBIs, six doubles, three triples, 21 walks, a .585 on-base and .597 slugging percentages, and seven stolen bases.
“Jordan was our leadoff hitter and a unanimous all-league selection last year and, as a sophomore, picked up where he left off,” head coach Matt Brown said. “He led off the first two scrimmages and first eight games by getting on base in the first inning. Jordan became a leader for our team both by example and also with by encouraging and challenging himself and his teammates. He also earned the team award for a second season for having the highest percentage of quality at-bats.”
Jack Adkins, St. Helena senior
Ethan Hemmerlin, Vintage junior
Jonathan Koffler, Calistoga freshman
Davide Migotto, Vintage sophomore
Noah Young, Justin-Siena sophomore
Defensive Player of the Year
Cameron Peters, American Canyon senior
The Wolves actually had to bid adieu to this standout, who received their Coach’s Award. Peters, who moved to first base last year, did not make a single error in 104 total chances there this season.
He had 97 putouts and seven assists and was in on four double plays. “Cam’s solid play at first base gave our infielders tremendous confidence in throwing the ball his way,” head coach Matt Brown said.
Zac Flood, St. Helena senior
Jimmy Larson, American Canyon junior
Tommy Lopez, Justin-Siena senior
Cole Kipsey, Napa senior
Luis Robledo, St. Helena senior
Newcomer of the Year
Eric Thomas, American Canyon senior
A transfer this year from John Swett, he was not able to play until after March 20 but “was a great teammate throughout the year, whether he was playing or not,” head coach Matt Brown said. “Eric quickly earned a spot at second base and was a very good defender, making just three errors in 55 total chances, and he is probably the fastest player that has ever been at ACHS.”
He hit .250 and scored 12 runs on 10 hits with 10 RBIs, three doubles, a triple, a home run, eight stolen bases in nine attempts, and the winning hit against Justin-Siena.
He posted a .423 on-base percentage, drawing five walks and getting hit by seven pitches.
He was also a competitive pitcher, relieving in many tough situations.
He posted a 1-0 record with two saves in 13 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on nine with a 3.07 ERA.
“We enjoyed having Eric as a part of our team and only wish we could have had him longer,” Brown added.
Ian Avalos, Vintage sophomore
Travis Brayton, Napa junior
Christian Caldera, Calistoga freshman
Jonathan Gamble, St. Helena junior
Jake Whipple, Vintage junior
Coach of the Year
Darrell Quirici, St. Helena
In his seventh season at the helm, three years after earning his first All-County Coach of the Year honors, the Saints finished 14-11 overall and were the only Napa County team to qualify for the playoffs. St. Helena went 10-4 in the North Central League I, tying for second place, and bounced back from a league-opening 4-2 loss to Kelseyville by winning six straight NCL I games – including a 6-5 thriller in 14 innings at Fort Bragg that saw them erase a 4-0 deficit.