Millikan’s three Moore League titles from 2016-18 was the first time in more than a decade that a team had brought the trophy home three years in a row. After watching Long Beach Poly take the crown in 2019 and seeing their season ended by COVID last year, the Rams are back on the field at 2-0, with wins over St. John Bosco and Pacifica.
“Everyone is so excited to finally be able to get to do this again,” said Millikan coach Ron Keester. “They appreciate it a little more every day as they’re practicing. They’re not worried about the little stuff, it’s just, ‘Hey, we get to do this!’ I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Like many other coaches and players, Keester admitted he’d given up hope of a season happening. Now to see his team on the field, beating Bosco on the road, has Keester feeling good.
“Seeing the kids perform at a high level early on is a great feeling,” he said.
The Rams’ young sophomore-laden team from two years is packed full of talented seniors now, and looking ready to make a move to the top of the standings box–Millikan started 3-0 with a trio of impressive victories.
On the mound are Cameron Sims, a lefty senior, Daniel Murillo, junior lefty Myles Patton, and big sophomore Jaden Alba.
The Rams have a strong core of five seniors who have been three-year varsity players, having gotten a full season in 2019 and played the abbreviated 2020 campaign as well as endured the rollercoaster since. In addition to Sims and Murillo, catcher Troy Harding second baseman Bilal Ali, and rightfielder Gabe Seja bring a depth of experience to the team.
“Nothing surprises those guys,” said Keester.
Shortstop Sam DeCarlo is a talented junior that allows Murillo to play at third and Ali at second, with Patton on first base. The utility guy moving around based on who’s pitching is senior Dean Ormonde who will play at the corners and in the outfield at times.
Anthony Godfrey is in center with Seja in right, and either Ormonde or sophomore Cameron Hagemin in left.
Keester said he’s expecting a tight race in the Moore League this year with his Rams, Wilson, and Lakewood all trying to knock off reigning champion Long Beach Poly.
“The league is going to be very competitive this year,” he said. “We have a lot of coaches who know how to get their teams ready to go, who have enough experience to be able to get everyone ready in a short amount of time.”