Miners secure region title, celebrate seniors
Park City will host the first two rounds of the state playoffs
Park City High School baseball head coach Dave Feasler, a former Miner himself, saw a lot of similarities between his playing days and this year’s version of the Miners when he took over this season.
One of Feasler’s favorite memories from his prep career was during the 2009 season when Park City clinched the region title, going as far as the semifinals in the state playoffs before seeing the team’s season end there.
Fast forward eight years, the Miners find themselves back on top as winners of Region 10 after securing wins over Providence Hall (12-2), Tooele (10-1) and Union (6-0) this week. It’s a deja vu type of moment for Feasler, along with assistant coaches Marshall Crawford and Robert Cashel, who were also on that ‘09 team.
But this moment of grabbing the Region 10 title isn’t for them, the coaches said.
“It feels awesome,” Feasler said of locking up the region title. “The kids know it means a lot to me, but it’s never been about me. It’s about the kids. They set the goal and I hope it means as much to them as it does to me. The way we celebrated it, I think it means a lot to them.”
The Miners needed just one win over Tooele or Union this week in order to clinch the title. After getting a victory on Tuesday afternoon at Tooele, the Miners celebrated by running out onto the field and forming a dog-pile of bodies.
Park City has enjoyed a triumphant season with an 18-3 record, 10-1 in region play. The Miners’ three losses have come by a combined three runs.
Feasler said the team’s successful run this season would not have been possible without its five seniors: Josh Lansky, Ryan Brady, Sam Starley, Joe Simmons and Zack Luna. They were honored at Park City High School before Monday’s game with Providence Hall. Though the senior group is a small one, it’ll surely be missed, Feasler said.
“All five of them have great leadership qualities,” Feasler said. “I can’t say enough about how strong that senior class is. I think one of the best compliments they can get is I would love for any of those five to come back and coach with me someday, because I like spending time with them. They know the game. They like learning. It’s just a great group of kids.”
Feasler tells the underclassmen on the team all the time how lucky they are to have the seniors to look up to. From taking care of business on the field to literally taking care of the diamond — which can be anything from collecting all of the baseballs or raking up the dirt — the seniors are typically the first to volunteer their services.
“They’re not going to tell someone else to do it,” Feasler said. “They’re just going to go do it, which I think is really cool. That’s kind of how we operate our leadership system on the team.
“It’s a leadership by example system. I don’t have much vocality in the class, but at the same time, there’s a ton of leading by example going on.”
Park City celebrated its region championship with a cookout during Thursday afternoon’s game with Union, where friends and family who have come out to support the team all year long participated. Winning the region was a goal the players had set at the beginning the season, but so is competing for a state championship.
The Miners have accomplished one of their goals, and in order to achieve the other, they’ll need to maintain a certain level of focus, just not on the score, Feasler said.
“[We can’t be] focusing so much on the score, but focusing on how we’ve gotten to where we’ve gotten, which is actually not talking about the score very often,” Feasler said. “We still don’t talk much about winning. We all know we’ve won and we will have more winning in the future, but we focus on little things that we think will get us to the end results.
“I think this group has bought into it. Moving into next week, I think we’re in a good spot.”
Park City will host the first two rounds of the UHSAA 3A state playoffs on May 13. The Miners will host Region 11’s four-seed in the first round, which will be either Logan or Morgan. The first-round game is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. at Park City High School.
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Dave Hanscom announced last month he was retiring as volunteer race director of the Wasatch Citizens Series after 30 years in the position.