The Virgin Valley High School Lady Bulldogs 2016 season fell short of Coach Travis Griffith expectations, but returnees from this year’s young squad bodes well for 2017. The Dawgs went 15-13 this past season and will lose graduating seniors Tylee Robison, Adri Wakefield and Janella Fiso from this year’s team. All three played instrumental roles this year; Fiso led the Dawgs in hitting percentage and Wakefield and Robison were a strong combination for four years at pitcher and catcher respectively.
The Bulldogs will count on young players Savannah Price, Taylor Barnum, Calee Clem, Shalee Hafen and freshman Karla Correa in 2017. Sophomore pitcher Price was dominate at times and should be much stronger next year. Correa should step up as a second starter for the Dawgs and will provide offensive help. Barnum also a sophomore had a good year at the plate and defensively.
Coach Griffith said, “I am proud of the girls and wish we could have gone further in the playoffs. We will miss our seniors next year but with hard work our younger girls will step up next season.” This was the best season the Bulldogs have had since Griffith took over, going 7-23 and 11-21 the past two years.
The Virgin Valley High School Bulldog baseball team only finished 6-19 overall for the season but that was a 100 percent improvement over their 3-21 finish in 2015. Coach Justin Goodsell began the 2016 season with 11 sophomores, three juniors and four seniors. Goodsell will have to find a replacement for catcher Koby Smothers who has been a stalwart behind the plate.
Another year of maturity and strength should help the Dawgs in 2017 compete for a playoff spot. Cade Anderson, Dillon Fuqua and Jason Brooks had some good games from the mound and were also steady in the field. Leadoff batter Jayden Perkins led the Dawg outfielders showing an ability to run down long drives and ability to get on base with deft bunts down the first base line. The continued success of the Virgin Valley Little League shows great promise for the future of Bulldog ball on the hill.