But what Sears has right now is a group of high schoolers who are more interested in the baseball field than the boogie board.
They’re the 2009 Breakers baseball team, and they’re trying to reverse some troubling numbers — namely, the fact that Laguna Beach hasn’t won a league title in 46 years or made the playoffs in nine.
“I think this is a good group of guys [who are] tired of losing,” said Sears, in his second year as the Breakers’ head man. “The learning curve has gone up. Now they’re starting to believe in the process. Last year, we were trying to teach the process. Without the process, a goal is only a dream.”
Top returners for the Breakers include a trio of seniors: catcher Gabe Stansbury, infielder Jake Sganga and outfielder Dillon Pierce.
Stansbury has been on fire early in the season, batting nine for 12 in the Breakers’ first three games of the Newport Elks Tournament. Laguna Beach lost to Segerstrom, 4-3 in nine innings, before topping Savanna, 13-4, on Saturday. The Breakers then bested Cerritos, 12-2, on Monday.
In that win, Stansbury was four for four, with three doubles and three runs batted in.
The Breakers lost to Nogales, 2-0, on Wednesday. Still, if it keep splaying like this, Laguna Beach could better its program record for wins, which is 15.
“We’re playing with a higher intensity right now,” said Stansbury, a second-team All-Orange Coast League pick a year ago, along with Sganga. “Our team seems to be flowing better because of it.”
Sophomore Chris Paul is another key returner. Paul was a first-team all-league selection a year ago. Junior pitcher and first baseman Casey Miller should also have an important role.
Other key contributors include junior outfielder/pitcher Mike Maxsenti, as well as senior Andrew Paddon, junior Steve Contursi and sophomores Spencer Freidenrich, Keaton Jones and Austin Paxon.