Baseball: Hernandez is the kind of guy Keppel needs

In just the last few years, it seems like Keppel’s made some pretty good hires. First, it started with football coach Bobby Madrid taking the reigns, and now it’s a young but enthusiastic Houston Hernandez, 25, in charge of turning around the struggling Aztecs. The former St. Paul star is looking to inject some stability and tradition to a program that’s won only seven of its last 100 games…

By Andrew J. Campa, Staff Writer

ALHAMBRA – At 25 years of age, new Mark Keppel High School baseball coach Houston Hernandez is full of zest and zeal.

The La Mirada native resides in a city where baseball is big and played at a high school in St. Paul, where excellence was not an elective.

“We always expected to be in the mix at St. Paul,” said Hernandez, a 2002 alumnus. “We had a streak of something like 20 years of finishing with a better than .500 record.

“How many schools can say that?”

Hernandez reached the postseason all three of his varsity years and even helped the Swordsmen split the Del Rey League title with Bishop Amat in 2000.

His younger brother Estevan Hernandez is a former Whittier Daily News Player of the Year at catcher while his sister Vanessa Hernandez was a solid softball outfielder.

All this makes Hernandez’s choice for his first head coaching job at Keppel somewhat curious.

The Aztecs have struggled lately as Hernandez is the program’s third coach in six years.

Over the last five years, the Aztecs played 100 games and won seven.

During that same time, Keppel has triumphed in 2 of 75 Almont League contests.

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  • featherhead

    Looks like the kid is trimming the sail on that Keppler Ship…good story. Keep after’em and play hard!

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    Mark Keppel varsity baseball joins the ranks of the winning with a recent 9-6 victory over Schure High School Montebello. Hernandez’s team engineered a 3 run 6th that included a perfectly executed squeeze play to score the eventual winning run and secure the teams 1st victory of the season. The Aztecs took the early lead but had to fight back twice to take the win. The team still has a rough road ahead but they seem to have turned a corner under the enthusiastic leadership of Hernandez.

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