For decades Wilcox High School has been king when it comes to baseball in Santa Clara. But in 2017, the Santa Clara High Bruins are looking to change that reputation. The Bruins frosh-soph squad is currently tied for first in their league with a 7-1 record. First year Head Coach Pedro Martinez, a 30-year-old Santa Clara native and Wilcox graduate would love to see the Bruins program eventually move up into the higher level to compete with his alma mater.
“I might be more hyped up about it than they are,” commented Martinez on possibly playing Wilcox in league play in the future. “One of the goals we put down was to win our league and when these kids are on varsity to move up to the A-division. To compete for a CCS title, get on a level that Wilcox has been on. [My kids] would love to play their rival school. They know a lot of those kids, played Little League with them. They would love–and I would love personally–being on the Santa Clara side of it now, to play Wilcox and make that a yearly rivalry.”
In order for the Bruins to move up a division, the varsity squad would need to win their league. Santa Clara’s current varsity team is a respectable 5-3, but it’s going to be a lot of Martinez’s players who are more likely to reap those benefits as they start to become upperclassmen.
“I’ve been wanting to play them so bad,” commented sophomore outfielder Alijah Amaya on rival Wilcox. “I know we’re better than this [league], and next year we need to step it up again.”
“That’s one thing I’m definitely looking forward to,” added sophomore utility-man Noah Dembowski on the possibility of facing Wilcox in the future. “Coach Pedro has the experience of going to the top and winning it all, so he can definitely make it happen for us.”
Martinez won a CCS title under current Wilcox Head Coach David Currie while playing for the Chargers back in 2004. The first year Bruins coach has the utmost respect for his former coach, but definitely has a few of his own curveballs in his personal coaching philosophy. When it comes to his frosh-soph squad though, whats more important to him than winning games is developing the players and setting them up for the best chance to succeed in the future. That includes having kids learn different positions.
The aforementioned Dembowski happens to be one of Martinez’s players who has found a home at a brand new position this season.
“We have a catcher, who we tried at second base and we just struck gold with it,” noted Martinez on Dembowski. “We put kids at various positions [for well-rounded development] and as it turns out, he’s a natural second baseman.”
“It definitely feels good,” admitted Dembowski to know his coaches like him at second base. “Going there for my first time doing pretty well, it’s been great. Them being happy with my performance, it’s pretty cool. Nice to know that I can do something at a different position.”
As for the overall development for the Bruins baseball program, Dembowski put it best with just a few words:
“Last year we did great, this year we are doing amazing, we’re not gonna be a joke anymore.”