Miami-Dade High School Baseball
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Dedicated Coaches At The Helm in 3A District 15

It’s very important to focus on the coaches before the season starts because their teams will be a reflection of their personalities.

And if the coaches we’ve met so far are any indication of what’s to come, every team could be undefeated this year.

In 3A District 15 in particular, we find coaches who are going to have an extra impact on their players. Coaches Paul Barrios and Abel Veulens from Country Day and Dade Christian, respectively, work for themselves during the day then for their teams in the afternoon. And Coach Jerry Yeash has been with his Curley squad through thick and thin and has always been a gentleman throughout.

Archbishop Curley Knights

Head Coach: Jerry Yeash
Last Year’s Record: 7-17
Key Returning Players: Ezekiel Araujo, Nick Salow, Oliver Holsing, Matthew Castrera, Jordan Nobles

The Archbishop Curley baseball program always has been a reflection of its coach, Jerry Yeash. He’s an extremely kindhearted man with a flair for the old school. Example? He wouldn’t let his three-year starter at center field, Ezekiel Araujo, take the field until he finished an essay on the bench at practice.

“Most of my top six in the lineup are three- and four-year starters,” Yeash said, “and then the rest are kids that never played baseball until high school. There aren’t many teams that do this kind of thing, but we’re proud of how our kids develop as ball players and people over the years.”

Coach Yeash runs infield/outfield at Curley’s new field.

When we visited him at his beautiful, 1-year-old diamond, his players didn’t stop practice when coach took a minute to be interviewed. They drilled themselves. First baseman Jordan Nobles directed the outfielders as to where they should be on plays where the ball is thrown down to second or third.

Maybe it’s because this team has seven returning starters, including its top two pitchers, Nick Salow and Matthew Castrera.

What the team lacks in size and a clear power hitter, it makes up for with maturity and unity under Yeash.

There is only one senior not mentioned so far and his name is Trarang Patel, a former Indian cricketeer turned outfielder in high school. Another noteworthy player is the coach’s son, Tony Yeash, the second in a line of Yeash’s who have played for their father at Archbishop Curley.

Though very young, this team is seasoned and strong, ready to contend with Dade Christian and a revamped Country Day program in its search for a district title.

Miami Country Day Spartans

Head Coach: Paul Barrios
Record Last Year: 7-16
Key Returning Players: Jake Weiss, Bryor Weiss, Josh Canabal, and Brandon Colongo

Coach Paul Barrios brings a staff of four experienced assistant coaches to an astro turf athletic complex that rivals any other in Dade County.

Coach Barrios pumps up his players before a night-time practice.

Seven seniors return this season. This is the same crew of athletes won the district title together as freshmen and have since suffered setbacks, finishing fourth last year in the district. Of course, it is important to the coach, his players and the rest of the staff that they contend for a district crown but the coach is after something else personally.

“I’ve won and I’ve lost many games, but what is most important is that I get to know my players as people, and that I help them learn and grow as young men,” Barrios said.

A noble coach and a guy who infects his team with happiness and pep. That’s Barrios. Though his players need no pep as they want to return to the glory of their freshmen year in their last year on the diamond as a unit. They have a strong chance at contending for the title, unless Dade Christian or Curley can get in their way.

Dade Christian Crusaders

Head Coach: Abel Veulens
Record Last Year: 13-15
Key Returning Players: Connor Morris, Juan Carlos Martinez, Anthony Munoz, Antony Martell, Emmanuel Rippes (yes, his last name is pronounced “rips.”)

Dade Christian brings only one senior to the field this year, but coach Abel Veulens is undaunted.

“My team is talented, but it’s super young. It’s mostly ninth- and 10th-graders,” Veulens said.

The team returns many sophomores who started their freshman year.

Dade Christian plays some intrasquad ball to prepare for the upcoming season.

Preseason speculation is that Dade Christian is a very strong contender, despite its age. Although Country Day has a strong senior year core, Dade Christian has a group of young gunners with nothing to lose but a good experience.

Because of his work schedule, Veulens shows up right as practice is supposed to begin, but he takes pride in the fact that when he arrives, the boys already are stretching out and throwing, organizing and disciplining themselves so that practice will run smoothly.

While intensely discussing the importance of his team’s discipline, camaraderie and organization, Veulens cuts himself off and shouts to the field “Hey! No walking! Let’s go!” Then he turns around and says, “Gotta keep ’em on their toes.”

He and his players are on a first-name basis, and they share an understood goal of success on the field and friendship to go along with it.

Mater Lakes Academy
Head Coach: Cesar Temes

Mater Lakes could not be reached for comment, but Veulens confirmed that they are young but talented and could contend for the district title.

“They’ve got a good coach, good players, and they’re only 3-years-old as a program, but they will contend. The coach comes out of a job coaching at Gulliver and has a good travel team, so there’s no doubt he’ll be bringing some talent to the field.”

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