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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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Winter Warm-up – Warren

Warren Dragons
Coach (season): Rick Eaton (1st season)
2012 overall record: 16-4
2012 region record (place): 8-2 (co-champion)
2012 playoff results: Defeated Grove City 6-3 and Cathedral Prep 2-0 to win the District 10 Class AAA championship. Warren then lost to Thomas Jefferson 4-2 in the first round of the PIAA playoffs.
Top players lost: Matt Jaskolka, Hank Morrison, Andrew Bevevino, Chris Danielson, Eddie Dorunda, Kory Thomas, Kevin Van Ord, Preston McMeans, Dan Maeder
Top returning players: Carter Cerra, Cameron MacIntosh, Ed Ord, Collin Fantaskey, Jason Stanton
Assistant coaches: Andrew Teconchuk, Jeff Eaton
Outlook: Warren will have a new look this season as longtime coach Jess Passaro retired. Rick Eaton takes over at Warren and will need to develop some of the younger players right away. The Dragons lost Matt Jaskolka, Hank Morrison, Andrew Bevevino, Chris Danielson, Eddie Dorunda, Kory Thomas, Kevin Van Ord, Preston McMeans and Dan Maeder to graduation. Bevevino (catcher), Dorunda (second base), Danielson (outfield), Jaskolka (outfield) and Van Ord (designated hitter) were voted to the all-region first team last season, while McMeans (first base) and Morrison (third base) were voted to the second team. Jaskolka and Dorunda were also second-team pitchers. Jaskolka is playing for Bloomsburg and Morrison is at Mercyhurst. Dorunda is playing for Mercyhurst North East. With a team full of talent that won a D-10 championship gone, the Dragons will need to rebuild quickly in order to repeat. Carter Cerra, Cameron MacIntosh, Ed Ord, Collin Fantaskey and Jason Stanton are back this spring to lead a young team. The returning group could be bolstered by new players Tanner Teconchuk, Todd Fasenmyer, Austin Schwanke, Ryan Gustafson, Tyler Bradly, Tanner Stanz, Matt Hultquist and Johnny White. Warren has a deep pitching staff and plenty of young talent, but developing chemistry will be the biggest key. The Dragons lost nine senior starters to graduation but the next generation looks solid. If Warren doesn’t repeat this season, keep an eye on the Dragons over the next few years. Warren is loaded with sophomores and juniors and this could be a development year to make another run in 2014.

5 St. Marys L, 2-6
6 Bradford W, 13-2
8 DuBois L, 2-8
10 at General McLane* PPD
12 Corry* PPD
15 McDowell 4
17 at Girard* 4
19 at Harbor Creek* 4
20 Strong Vincent noon
22 at Jamestown (N.Y.) 4:30
24 Fort LeBoeuf* 4
26 General McLane* 4
27 at Mercyhurst Prep 1
1 at Corry* 4
6 Girard* 4
8 Harbor Creek* 4
11 Titusville 11 a.m.
13 at Fort LeBoeuf* 4
18 Jamestown (N.Y.) 11 a.m.
*Region 7 games

Coach (season, record): Mark Bupp (7th season, 87-29)
2012 overall record: 18-2
2012 region record (place): 15-1 (co-champion)
2012 playoff results: Defeated Hickory 6-2 in the District 10 Class AAA semifinals before losing to Fort LeBoeuf 9-2 in the D-10 championship.
Top players lost: Samantha Bevevino, Rachel Hasselman, Kristin Hultquist, Shaley Williams
Top returning players: Erica Blair, Jaimie Eaton, Taylor Mineweaser, Alexa Bupp, Kaitlin Ishman, Kennedy Walter
Assistant coaches: Mark Blasdell, Tony Hasselman, Ed Loutzenhiser, Terry Wilson, Keith Confer, Chet Munksgard
Outlook: Warren was frustrated by Fort LeBoeuf last season but that could change this year. The Dragons return a loaded team with plenty of experience. Warren has some roster spots to fill with the graduation of Samantha Bevevino, Rachel Hasselman, Kristin Hultquist and Shaley Williams. Hasselman was voted to the all-region first team at first base and Hutlquist was a first-team outfielder. The Dragons return Erica Blair, Jaimie Eaton, Taylor Mineweaser, Alexa Bupp, Kaitlin Ishman and Kennedy Walter. Bupp has been dominant since her freshman season and is primed for a big junior year. She was voted to the all-region first team at pitcher and the region player and pitcher of the year. Ishman is a returning first-team selection at second base and Mineweaser is a second-team designated player. Warren lost four starters to graduation but has plenty of talented players back to make a run at the D-10 championship. The Dragons will get two shots at Fort LeBoeuf in region play before a possible third meeting in the D-10 playoffs. Warren has become deep enough to fill in graduation losses but building that extra chemistry will be key this spring.

2 Mercyhurst Prep* PPD
4 St. Marys W, 6-2
6 at Franklin PPD
9 at Central Tech* W, 14-0 5 innings
11 at Strong Vincent* PPD
16 at Fort LeBoeuf* 4
18 McDowell* 4
23 at East* 4
25 at Mercyhurst Prep* 4
29 Corry 4
30 at Jamestown (N.Y.) 3:30
2 Central Tech* 4
7 Strong Vincent* 4
9 Fort LeBoeuf* 4
11 at Corry 4
14 at McDowell* 4
16 East* 4
18 at Iroquois 11 a.m.
*Region 7 games

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Baseball, Softball, Winter Warm-up

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