Steele Canyon Cougars may steal league title this season

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The Steele Canyon Cougars finished the 2013 varsity baseball season, 4-11 in league, and 14-15 overall. One of the bright spots last season, shortstop Tanner Perry made all-league. Tanner also plays basketball, and is the key senior amongst many returning this season. Helping the turnaround, first year coach, and former Oakland athletic, Dan Nerat, is commanding the Cougars this year, to assist Tanner and is teammates reach the promise land.

The Steele Canyon Cougars finished the 2013 varsity baseball season, 4-11 in league, and 14-15 overall. One of the bright spots last season, shortstop Tanner Perry made all-league. Tanner also plays basketball, and is the key senior amongst many returning this season. Helping the turnaround, first year coach, and former Oakland athletic, Dan Nerat, is commanding the Cougars this year, to assist Tanner and is teammates reach the promise land.

Tanner’s lived in East County his entire life, and played organized baseball for many years. He is not too far in terms of distance from what school he should be attending, Granite Hills.

When questioned as to why he chose Steele Canyon he said, “ I had more friends attending Steele, and also prefer their athletic department.”

As opposed to last year referencing recently acquired coach, Dan Nerat?

“He brings a lot of positive energy, and gets things done, like getting equipment, nice jerseys, etc.” Perry said. “We will have much improved hitting and pitching, along with great defense.” The Cougars are also working on improved base running capabilities, especially working on not getting picked off.

When asked what his Achilles heal is, he said, “ I need to work on batting the guys in and executing in all facets of the game.”

Perry said there was a lot of negative energy on and off the field last year. The Cougars have 10 returning players, all improved with the help of Nerat. The key players to look for along with Perry are Mackey Bowers and Cole Flint.

When asked about who will be the hard-hitting teams to contend with Perry said, “Grossmont has great pitching, as well as Valhalla and Granite Hills, it will be tough.”

Perry loves the game of baseball so much that he also plays with travel ball team, the San Diego Gamers. Anther reason for his success is the support he receives at home, and when on the field his parents try to make it to all of his games. Perry has two stepbrothers that play JV baseball for rival, Granite Hills. Perry tries to model his play after Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees. Perry said his reasoning for this is the way Cano carries himself as a smooth character, very patient, and his swing. Perry is looking to attend a junior college locally at this point—Grossmont College in particular. He hopes one day to be recruited by a Division 1 school. He said he would love the opportunity to play in the majors if possible. In 2013, Perry had a .422 batting average, 32 runs batted in, three homeruns, and nine stolen bases. Perry looks to improve and double all his totals in 2014. The Cougars according to Perry and Nerat are on pace to capture the title, as the positive atmosphere has turned things around.

Look for the Cougars to crawl out of the cellar and up to the top.

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