Issaquah Indians eye repeat as league champs

July 3, 2012

By Matt Carstens

The Issaquah Indians huddle before the taking the field on defense in the bottom of the fifth inning June 28 with a 3-1 lead against the Bothell Blue Devils. Issaquah won, 9-3. By Greg Farrar

There’s only one thing harder than winning the Pony Baseball’s Northwest Regional Championship. And that’s doing it two years in a row.

That’s what Glenn Meyer’s Issaquah Indians are trying to accomplish this year after representing the Northwest in Los Angeles last year in the Pony Colt Division World Series.

“We have the same kids this year so our goal is to do that again,” Meyer said. “But it’s going to be a little bit tougher in the 19-and-under league because we’re the youngest team in the league this year, and not one of the oldest like we were last year.”

The team is comprised of Issaquah and Skyline high school students, including Zach Garner, Kevin Letourneau, Cody Collister, Jack Nickel, Jackson Meyer, Troy Potensky, Anders Lindberg, Ryan Siefkes, Derek Haroutoonian, Bobby Griffith, Ike Huffman, Andrew Hunyh, Josh Min, Blake Young and Chris Young.

Most of the players do not play for their respective schools, which puts the Indians at a little bit of a disadvantage to start the season.

“Most of the programs we play are comprised mostly of high school players,” Meyer said. “So they’ve already had two months of practice going. The same thing happened to us last year — we started off a little slow and lost a fair amount of games but we’ve been playing pretty well right now.”

Meyer’s favorite aspect of his team is that it has been together for so long.

“The nice thing about it is a lot of these kids have been playing together since T-ball, so they’re all friends,” he said. “We have great parents, don’t have any parent problems, and it’s just a great way to spend the summer.”

The Indians are hovering around .500, and were scheduled to face Eastside on July 3 at Skyline High School.

“In our 17-and-under league, we’re above .500 but in our 19-and-under league, we’re below .500,” Meyer said. “And when you average the two we’re right there. The level of competition is a little bit different — the older teams are a little bit more physically mature, have a little more talent.”

Another strength of the Indians is the experienced coaching staff.

“We also are fortunate to have two coaches with a tremendous amount of baseball knowledge,” Meyer said. “Mike Young played Division-I baseball at Ohio State and Mike Griffith’s older son was drafted by the Braves directly from Issaquah High School. Both of these guys know baseball and have been around the game for a long time.”

Meyer knows they’ve got a challenge ahead of them, but is confident that his Indians have what it takes.

“It will be a tough chore to repeat as Pony Northwest Regional Champions this year simply because we moved up an age division and are the youngest team in the league,” Meyer said. “But these guys have surprised us before.”

Matt Carstens: 392-6434, ext. 236, or ip-sports@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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