Juco Elite Spotlight: San Jac

Juco is for guys with no grades. False! Juco is for guys who can’t play at D1. False! Why would you go Juco, you won’t get recruited and won’t be able to get drafted. False. At the end of the day, there are many falsehoods being perpetuated about Juco route baseball and we here at JBB are dedicated to telling the TRUE story of what options there are for a high school player. Elite Juco programs operate similarly to power 5 D1 programs. They recruit, they have good budgets, they travel and they are HIGHLY recruited. They are very similar, with a few huge distinctions. One such difference is that is no limit to the time a coach can spend with a player by rule, nor is there a limitation to the coaching staff size that would limit a player's accessibility to the coaches on staff. Simply put there is always room, time and people to help in a player's developmental process. This fact is in many ways what prompted the Juco Elite Spotlight feature in the first place. The burning question we had here at The JBB was why should a good player pick a Juco over a D1? For that matter why make that choice in reverse either? What goes into the decision and most importantly what MAKES the decision? The top high school baseball players in the country ALWAYS have a choice between D1, the MLB draft, AND Juco Elite programs. ALL three can lead to prosperity and THAT is the truth that D1 baseball doesn’t want players to know. With that said we had the pleasure of talking with the truly historically elite program and coaches at San Jac and picked their brains on this subject and many others.

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Div. 1- Mid-South District Preview (Reg. 14)

Region 14 has by far the most history at the Division 1 Junior College level. Mainley due to the power that is San Jac. With 5 National titles, 14 National Title games, and 26 Trips to Grand Junction those are all records across the country. But, the talent does not stop there by any means. From top to bottom this is one of the top regions in the country. Any team that makes it out of Region 14 has had success when going to Grand Junction. Since 2011, San Jac has gone in 2018 (3rd), 2017 (NRU), 2016 (NRU), 2015 (5th), and 2012 (NRU); Navarro has gone in 2019 (3rd), 2013, and 2011 (National Champ); and Blinn in 2014 (5th).

As with every region the talent that is in Region 14 is absolutely loaded. From top to bottom with:

San Jac’s- Chase Wilkerson, Harold Coll, and Hunter Hollan

Navarro’s-Cash Rugely, Alex Vargara, and Austin Eaton

Northeast Texas’s- Sawyer Thornhill, Nico Baumbach, and Kaleb Wisnoski

Paris’s- Sam Creed

Galveston’s-Connor Dykstra, Johnny Bassailion, and Blake Martin

Blinn’s- Jace Hutchins, Dylan Theut, and Trevor Mott

Wharton’s- Trey Valka, and Josh Salinas

Bossier Parish’s- Beau Ross, Dylan Collins, and Zach St. Pierre

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Tournament of Champions Preview

  1/29 1/30 1/31 Howard vs #3 Grayson #3 McLennan vs Howard Navarro vs #7 Grayson Odessa vs #10 San

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Div. 1- Mid-South District Preview (Reg. 14)

This District was one of the toughest to call coming out of last year. Going into the season the usual favorite could not compete postseason so it was really up for grabs as to who was going to take home the Mid-South/Region 14 Crown and a trip to Grand Junction. Navarro rose to that occasion taking the Region title from Blinn after running through the first 3 rounds of the tournament. They ended up finishing 3rd in the country after fighting through the losers bracket and forcing a winners take all 3rd place game against Iowa Western to decide who would play for the National Title. They finished the season with a record of 41-18.

Previous winners: ‘19 Navarro, ‘18 San Jac, ‘17 San Jac, ‘16 San Jac

This year San Jac is back in full force with the Pre-Season Pitcher of the Year in Luke Little (South Carolina); who is also the National Pre-Season Pitcher of the Year and All-American. A team that does not always get the recognition in this region Wharton boasts the Pre-Season Player of the Year in Alec Carr (New Mexico) who also happens to be a Pre-Season All-American. 

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2021 NJCAA Div. 1 Pre-Season All-Americans

Pitchers Christian McGowan-Eastern Oklahoma State Hunter Parks-Florence-Darlington Tech Peyton Zable-Iowa Western Infield Harold Coll-San Jac Dax Fellows-Southern Nevada CJ Valdez-Yavapai

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