The news of Sabino junior shortstop and outfielder Jacob Wiltshire committing to New Mexico State, reported here last week, came with it the unbelievable reality that Wiltshire has played only nine varsity games in his young high school career.
Wiltshire has played in youth-development leagues outside of Sabino, but a major component to why he was able to commit to a Division I program. with a very limited high school background, is the Sabercats’ coaching staff, led by head coach Shane Folsom.
We never made it to our scheduled 2020 baseball pictures…fortunately, when we won the 🏆 last year, somebody suggested the Jrs get together. So we present our 2020 Seniors. These guys were good. 9-0 to start, poised to bring home another 🏆. We won't forget them. pic.twitter.com/MNVUe4XBxh
“I have five very dedicated assistant coaches that voluntarily work with our kids year around,” Folsom said. “We don’t charge outrageous fees or any fees at all. This opportunity (for Wiltshire) came about because while all other local schools in January went to the U of A team camp, we took a trip and went to the New Mexico State team camp.
“That is where Coach (Mike) Kirby saw Jake play for the first time. All of our coaches paid there own way to go. As a staff, we take pride in showcasing our players and attend several showcases as a high school team. I believe the coaches I have that put in tons of hours with our kids deserve some credit … we will have more players get D1 offers and the Sabino coaching staff is working with them tons of hours and taking them to get exposure all because they care and not for any financial gain.”
Sabino’s coaching staff includes:
Tim Gillooly, pitching coach
Josue Ortiz, hitting coach
Jesus Rodriguez, infield coach
Shane Nichols, outfield coach
Adam Federico, head junior varsity coach
Wiltshire is one of six Sabino players who will play in college. The others, all seniors, are outfielder Morgan Altherr (Colorado-Colorado Springs), senior left-hander and first baseman Andrew Calloway (Arizona Western JC), catcher Brayden Graham (Paradise Valley JC), outfielder and left-handed pitcher Jack Langan (Cornell (Iowa) College) and infielder Dylan Tebou (Williston (N.D.) State).
The Sabercats were 9-0 this season when the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation for the remainder of the season. They are 60-11 over the last three seasons with victories in the state title game the previous two seasons.
FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER!
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.