Winning a region championship is nice. It is even better when the team was picked by the region's coaches to finish no better than fourth in the league. But even with that accomplishment under their belts, coach Mike LaHargoue and the Lone Peak Knights want more than just their Region 4 title.
"We were happy to win it," said LaHargoue. "Getting a region title was great, but it is a new season starting (today). It put us in a good position and set us up all right, but it doesn't mean a thing once those new games start. Nobody is going to hand us anything because we were the region champs."
LaHargoue took over the Knights baseball program and immediately put his stamp on it. With his assistants, he scouted the team through summer and fall baseball. When tryouts came in the spring, he made a few surprise moves.
"I cut a couple of kids that probably would have been starters under the old coach," LaHargoue said. "I got a few calls and e-mails that first week, but I think that the results speak for themselves. We needed to turn a few things around and I think we did that."
The reason for the team's success has been because of consistency, according to LaHargoue. He said if one of his players is having an off day, five or six others could step in and pick up the slack, six or seven players on the team are hitting around .400 and it makes it tough on opposing pitchers because there really isn't a break in the lineup.
Along with the potent hitting, the Knights have had consistent pitching. Daniel Sechrest is unbeaten as the staff ace, and Jared Christensen isn't far behind. One difference this season is that LaHargoue wanted to develop at least a third starter, and Ryan Stephan has stepped in to that role.
"In our region, you really can get by with only two starters," he said. "But I felt that to be successful at the state tournament you needed at least one more. We needed some more arms with experience and so we have done that."
Viewmont is another team that knows what it is like to win a region title. The Vikings claimed their fifth straight Region 1 championship. But like Lone Peak, now is the time to put that in the past and get ready for more.
"We have taught the kids what it is like to win championships," coach Roger Farnsworth said. "They know what winning takes, and now they can start working on getting it done at the tournament."
While the region titles are nice, Kyle Biblrey, Biss Larsen, Alex Exon, Jeff Rawlings, Vance Green and Max Matina hope to propel the Vikings to a state title, something that has eluded the school since 1973.Other teams capable of making the run to a state championship include Riverton, Taylorsville, Alta, Bingham, Northridge, Spanish Fork, American Fork and Timpanogos.
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