Alpine Cowboys Open Season Today In Del Rio Texas
The Cowboys are one of ten teams in the Pecos League, an independent minor league divided into a Northern and Southern Division. The Northern Division consists of the Las Vegas Train Robbers, Taos Blizzard and the Santa Fe Fuego all in Central New Mexico and the Raton Osos and Trinidad Triggers, both in southern Colorado. The five teams that make up the Southern Division are the Alpine Cowboys in West Texas, the Bisbee Blue and Douglas Diablos in Southeast Arizona and the White Sands Pupfish together with the Roswell Invaders in southern New Mexico.
Coach Ryan Stevens is confident that this years Cowboy team will make it to the Championship game. In 2013 the Cowboys lost the Division Championship to the Roswell Invaders who went on to take the League Championship. In 2012 the Cowboys took it all and Coach Stevens was named "Coach of the Year" for the Pecos League.
This years team is the youngest, and consequently the least experienced, team Coach Stevens has had during his 5 year tenure in Alpine. Coach Stevens says that he expects the competition to be strong across the league but he also expects his Cowboys will be right there in the end. If confidence wins championships the league may as well give the trophy to the Cowboys today.
When asked about the opening day game against the Las Vegas Train Robbers, he talks about how they are a very young team with a rookie manager too. Although very young he also says you can't overlook them, the team will have to be focused and play to their game. The Train Robbers did make it to the Championship game last year. As to the question about his team being ready, Coach Stevens said they have trained hard and are ready. Travel can be hard on the rookies, he says, although the veterans are used to it.
Most of this years Cowboys have just finished up their last year of college ball where they played around 30 games in 2 1/2 months. They join the Cowboys for their 70 game schedule from May 12th through the 20th of July. That's 100 games in five months. Where the college games are usually 3 games in a week, the Cowboys only have 9 days off in 2 1/2 months. What a grind.
The Cowboys have 8 returning players with Pecos League experience.
Travis Renwick - LHP - Pitched for the Las Vegas Train Robbers in 2013
Andrew Shoemaker - LHP - Pitched for the Roswell Invaders in 2013
Aaron Corwin - RHP - Pitched for the Cowboys in 2013
Josh Cruse - RHP - at 6' 7" and 240 lbs the tallest Cowboy, pitched for the Cowboys in 2013
Brian Milliman - 1B - Played for the Cowboys in 2013
Dustin Sandberg - C/1B - The only Canadian on the team played for Alpine in 2013
Casanova Donaldson - OF - Played for Roswell in 2012 and the Cowboys in 2013
2014 should be a great year for the Cowboys. Their home opener is Thursday the 15th of May at 7 PM. The Cowboys play all of their home games at Kokernot Field. Come out and cheer on the Cowboys at all of their 33 home games. Hope to see you there.