YUCCA VALLEY — After a tumultuous last few weeks, the Yucca Valley High School Trojan baseball players are preparing for their preseason competition; the Trojans will kick off their year with an away tournament this weekend.
The team was set to be led by newly hired head coach Brad Brimhall but Brimhall was fired due to a safety concern involving one of the players. Brimhall did not respond to the Hi-Desert Star’s email request for a comment on his dismissal from the program.
Trojan football coach John Stewart took over the team last Tuesday and is now working with the boys daily to get them competition ready.
“If we can be competitive this year, I’ll be happy,” said Stewart. “We have a lot of new guys coming in and a lot of work to do.”
Stewart joined the Trojan coaching staff last year and, in his first year at Yucca Valley, he led the football team to an undefeated league record and a win in the Battle of the Bell against Twentynine Palms. Stewart began coaching high school football in 2002 in his home state of Washington and, since then, has coached high school track and field, basketball and baseball.
While he has only been working with the players for about a week now, he said he is already seeing some strong standouts to lead the team this year, including returning players Braden Brimhall, Seth Snead and Josh Gueltzow.
“The returners are really stepping up, which is good because we need the help,” he said. “We’re still waiting for a few guys from the basketball team to finish off their season before we finalize everything.”
The Trojan baseball team finished their season last year with a 9-5 league record and a 12-9 overall record. Stewart expects he and the rest of the Trojan community will get a better idea of the team’s readiness for league play after their first preseason game this weekend. The Trojans will take on Temescal Canyon High School at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at an away tournament in Citrus Valley. Catch the team in their first home game of the season Feb. 24 against Palms Springs High School. The non-league game will start at 3 p.m.