ST. GEORGE — Blame it on the heat or the myriad of other summer activities, but American Legion baseball has had an on-again-off-again history in southern Utah. For this summer, at least, it’s on.
The new St. George Sentinels, featuring 16 players age 19 and under, began play last week as an independent American Legion team. The Sentinels have cobbled together a schedule against club teams, summer school squads and Legion teams from northern Utah and will be eligible for the playoffs at the end of the summer season in late July.
Shane Johanson, the head coach, said the Sentinels are based out of Pine View High, but have players from other schools as well, including Dixie, Snow Canyon and Beaver. He said he expects the Sentinels to be very conpetitive.
“The rest of the state has leagues for legion (Top of Utah and Valley League), but we are not affiliated either of those leagues,” he said. “Rather, we are an independent and qualify to play in the state tournament at the end of July if we are victorious in a play-in game. Our goal is to win the state legion championship and go to western regionals.”
The team has a heavy Pine View flavor, with five starting position players from this spring’s Panther squad that finished in the top four in state. Hunter Hansen, Kash Walker, Logan LaFemina, Ty Johnston and Brooks Barney are all on the team and all started for coach Mike Gargano at PV, plus starting pitcher Harrison Goebel is on the squad.
Josh Howard, from Snow Canyon, and Chris Petrosie of Dixie are also on the team, which started the year with a split against the Salt Lake Gulls, an all-star club team, last Friday.
The Sentinels played an exhibition doubleheader Tuesday night against players from the two-time defending region champion Desert Hills Thunder. Desert Hills won both games by scores of 12-6 and 8-5.
The Sentinels play again this weekend at a tournament in Helper. Their next home game is Jun.26 against Canyon View.
STGNews photographer Robert Hoppie was there Tuesday night to capture some of the action and gathered this photo gallery for us:
Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.
St. George Sentinels roster:
Tanner Wilde – Dixie
Chris Petrosie – Dixie
Austin Ruseler – Dixie
Josh Howard – Snow Canyon
Jaxon Osborne – Beaver
Brent Nielson – Pine View
Tyler Johnston – Pine View
Logan Lafemina – Pine View
Brooks Barney – Pine View
Kash Walker – Pine View
Hunter Hansen – Pine View
Connor Clark – Pine View
Carter Milne – Pine View
Trevor Barry – Pine View
Cole Greene – Pine View
Harrison Goebel – Pine View
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