Yucaipa has been in a bit of a purgatory the last four years, as it has seemed to cluster around the fourth and final playoff spot in the Citrus Belt League. It worked fine from 2006-08, as the Thunderbirds made the playoffs, but Yucaipa finally found itself on the outside looking in last year, missing the postseason for the first time since 2005.
The Thunderbirds have made some changes since then, removing John Hallenbeck as head coach and bringing over Justin Price from Granite Hills. Price comes to Yucaipa after leading Granite Hills to its first winning season in its 11 seasons of existence, as the Cougars went 6-4 last year to beat their previous high-water win mark by two games.
“I’m getting settled in, but I really think this is a school and a community that can thrive,” Price said. “I really like the attitude of the kids in the program and really appreciate the community for embracing us. I think there’s quite a bit of potential here.”