High School Baseball Preview: La Habra has new coach but familiar goal

The La Habra baseball team will be led by, from left, returning starters John Young, Marcus Lopez, Sean Sparling, Jacob Looney and Zach Ferreira. (Keith Durflinger / Staff Photographer)

By Eric Terrazas, Staff Writer

La Habra High School, thanks to the return of several key players, has high hopes for the 2013 baseball season.

The defending Freeway League champion Highlanders, who finished 17-11 overall last year and advanced to the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 playoffs, are looking to go even farther this season.

La Habra, which finished 12-3 in league, will feature a new face in the dugout as coach John Sothern takes over for Paul Caffrey.

“Personally, it’s exciting for me because it’s my first full-time opportunity for me as a varsity coach,” Sothern said.

“It’s tough for guys who were part of a system the last three years and suddenly with a new coaching staff coming in, they have to adjust to a new system.

“The guys are doing a great job assimilating into the system. We’re getting good results from our new hitting, pitching and fielding philosophies.”

The Highlanders lost outfielder Aaron Porter and pitchers Josh Staumont and Spencer Long to graduation, but they still return plenty of talent, including shortstop Zack Ferreira, pitcher Sean Sparling, outfielder Omar Villicana, catcher Jacob Looney, pitcher/first baseman John Young, second baseman Marcus Lopez and third baseman/pitcher Brett Mays.

Sparling, who posted a 1-1 record and a 2.82 ERA in 27.1 innings last season, figures to take over the primary pitching duties.

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