The summer after his freshman year, Lukas White moved from Missouri to Valencia. There were a few things that stayed the same in his life after he moved and a few things that changed – including baseball.
“I think that there’s a lot of really good players in both places,” White said. “I think they’re more spread out here. There’s more to accomplish out here than back in Missouri. Baseball is baseball wherever you go.”
Baseball helped White make friends throughout this first few months at Valencia. He ended up thriving as a Viking and as a result, was named the 2018 Foothill League player of the year.
White excelled on the mound and at the plate this season. He went 7-3 with a 2.51 ERA and 71 strikeouts and recorded a .378 batting average, 28 RBIs and five home runs.
“I think I’ve grown a lot as a player,” said White. “I stepped up a lot on both sides of the ball. I lost a lot of weight, I had to get in baseball ready condition and I think this year it finally showed it.”
The Vikings, who finished third in the Foothill League, beat Oaks Christian by one run in a CIF-Southern Section Division 1 wild card game, then went on to upset top-seeded Harvard-Westlake in the first round.
Valencia ended its season in the second round of the Division 1 tournament with a loss to Bishop Amat.
It was a remarkable run for a team comprised mostly of underclassmen. White was one of few experienced upperclassmen who provided leadership.
“I think I’ve been doing that my whole life,” White said. “My whole life I always played up on travel ball team and high school we didn’t have a freshman team, so I played JV and then varsity.
“So I looked to the higher guys and bought into what they taught and I was able to transition that into what I did this year. I was able to help kids figure out to do and show them how to be successful.”
White will continue his baseball career at NAIA Doane University in Nebraska. Although he’s moving back to the Midwest, he won’t forget his experience with West Coast baseball.
“It was exciting in Missouri, but its different out here,” he said. “I’ve never been able to play every single day, games every weekend. I was just glad I was able to get out there and compete.”
Hart’s Bryce Collins was named the Foothill League pitcher of the year after going 6-2 with a 0.98 ERA and 86 K’s.
Collins, a University of Arizona commit, was recently selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Ryan Carolan, senior, Hart
Josh Cerpa, senior, Hart
Will Chambers, senior, West Ranch
Luke Chung, senior, Valencia
Hewitt Grissom, junior, Saugus
Charles Harrison, junior, Canyon
Cody Jefferis, senior, Hart
Nolan Kutcher, junior, Saugus
Cade Nicol, junior, West Ranch
Nicholas Perez, sophomore, West Ranch
Cole Roederer, senior, Hart
Cebastian Arriaga, junior, Canyon
Jake Biscailuz, senior, Valencia
Matthew Broadwater, senior, Golden Valley
Ryan Camacho, junior, West Ranch
Trever Coogan, senior, Hart
Davis Cop, junior, Valencia
Brandyn Cruz, junior, Saugus
Chase Lindemann, senior, Saugus
Brooks Statley, senior, Hart
Christos Stefanos, senior, West Ranch
Mitchell Torres, sophomore, Valencia
Steven Cornell, junior, Canyon
Cameron Pfafman, senior, Golden Valley
Cooper Austin, junior, Hart
Andy Vierra, senior, Saugus
Kyle Barileau, junior, Valencia
Jovan Camacho, junior, West Ranch