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Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
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Five players to watch in 2013

  • Cascade's starting pitcher KJ Brady throws out a pitch in the seventh inning.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Cascade's starting pitcher KJ Brady throws out a pitch in the seventh inning.

  • Cascade's Patrick Chung (left) puts the tag on Kamiak's Jacob Bettencourt (12) in the seventh inning.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Cascade's Patrick Chung (left) puts the tag on Kamiak's Jacob Bettencourt (12) in the seventh inning.

  • Jackson outfielder Joakim Soderqvist shields his eyes as he attempts to make a catch during a game last season.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Jackson outfielder Joakim Soderqvist shields his eyes as he attempts to make a catch during a game last season.

  • Snohomish's Russell Crippen throws a pitch in the second inning of Saturday's game against Jackson at Jackson H.S. Crippen and the Panthers take on th...

    Sarah Weiser / The Herald

    Snohomish's Russell Crippen throws a pitch in the second inning of Saturday's game against Jackson at Jackson H.S. Crippen and the Panthers take on the Timberwolves in the season opener today at Snohomish H.S.

Russell Crippen
Snohomish, 3B/P, SR.
Crippen is a versatile senior that head coach Kim Hammons said can play anywhere on the field. This season Crippen will see the majority of his time at third base and on the mound, where he can be used in a starting or a closing role. A season ago Crippen was named All-Wesco North first team as an outfielder.
As a hitter, Crippen is most dangerous at the top of the order where he can utilize his talents at stealing bases and driving in runs. He led the Panthers in stolen bases, RBI and home runs last season and is going into his second year as team captain.
K.J. Brady
Cascade, OF/P, Jr.
Brady is the starting center fielder and one of the starting pitchers for the Bruins. He throws and bats left and has verbally committed to play his college baseball at the University of Washington.
Brady was first-team All-Wesco South as an outfielder and pitcher as a sophomore. He hit .351 with an on-base percentage of .507 and stole 15 bases and led the team with 17 walks. Brady is a patient hitter and once he reaches base he is a threat to steal at any time. As a defender he covers a lot of ground and has a knack for taking away extra-base hits.
Jacob Bettencourt
Kamiak, OF, Sr.
Bettencourt is the team captain for the Knights and has been a three-year starter in the outfield. As a junior he raked in the postseason honors, being named first-team All-State, All-Wesco South first team, All-Area second team. Kamiak coach Stephen Merkley said Bettencourt is a dynamic leader and is well-liked by his teammates. Merkley hopes that Bettencourt can lead the team to a Wesco South title and a state playoff spot.
Bettencourt led Kamiak in all offensive categories last season while hitting .428. He maintains a 3.7 grade point average and has aspirations to play baseball beyond high school. For a 5-foot-9 160 pounder, Bettencourt has tremendous power and Merkley said he is a natural born hitter.
Kyle Nobach
Marysville Pilchuck, 2B, Sr.
Nobach is going into his third year as a starter for the Tomahawks. Marysville Pilchuck head coach Kurt Koshelnik said Nobach stays positive through his successes and his failures and is always looking for the opportunity to do something special. Koshelnik said that attitude radiates to the other players and coaching staff.
Nobach will play second base this season and hit somewhere near the middle of the lineup. A season ago Nobach hit .354 with a home run and 23 hits. Koshelnik said that Nobach has put in the work and is ready to hit this season, he expects Nobach to lead the team and turn a lot of heads with what he does at the plate.
Joakim Soderqvist
Jackson, OF, Sr.
Soderqvist is a versatile player who has played third base and outfield for the Timberwolves. He has good speed which he utilized as a wide receiver on the football team at the beginning of the school year and head coach Kirk Nicholson hopes he can use in the outfield and on the base paths this season.
Soderqvist's biggest asset is his athletic ability. Nicholson said he makes difficult plays look routine. He will hit at the top of the order for the Timberwolves and most likely get a chance to use that speed and athletic ability to steal bases and score runs for Jackson this season.

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