Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Birds welcome new head coach ahead of preseason

The Cerritos baseball team look towards an entirely new coaching staff to get them ready for the fall season as well as prepare to make a big run in the upcoming 2024 season.
Emily Maciel
Cerritos baseball players getting their practice in before the fall season starts.

The Birds will be heading into the 2024 season looking for a winning record and a trip to the postseason for the first time since 2018 (their 13-8 record in 2020 was COVID-shortened).

They hope that with a new coaching staff and group of guys, they can make that happen this upcoming spring season.

The new head coach, Nate Fernley, explained that even though the fall season is practice for the Spring, it is the time for the team to try and become fundamentally sound and he has expectations for them.

There’s no doubt he wants to help coach the Birds to a winning season.

“I actually do think that we got a really good young freshman class that came in that’s talented,” said Fernley with a confident smile.

“To win a state championship is difficult but I do think that it’s not an outlandish goal to have even though maybe last year’s record wouldn’t indicate that.”

Fall ball schedule. (Emily Maciel)

Sophomore pitcher, Calix Armijo, who was a part of last year’s team has adapted greatly to the new coaching staff and his position here on the team.

“I’ve adjusted really well. I like Fernley, I love how he goes about the game and his way of coaching along with the entire staff, just everything about it I can’t complain,” said Armijo.

Armijo originally started last season as an infielder and played a few games at third base but transitioned to fully being a pitcher a few months into the season.

“Man I miss hitting, but for the betterment of my career I felt like it was a good decision,” said Armijo bittersweetly.

It’s no surprise the team is loving their new coaches, incoming freshman pitcher/first baseman Derek Valdez says Fernley is his reason for choosing to play for Cerritos.

“I was supposed to go to a different school all summer and then I realized that Coach Fernley had the position here, so I set up a meeting with him and after one conversation I realized that this was the best spot for me,” said Valdez.

Sophomore third baseman, Mike Santos, played in just two games last season before being granted a medical red-shirt for the year due to a fractured hamate bone injury.

He struggled to watch his teammates from the dugout being able to play while he wasn’t able to do much but observe.

“The hardest part about being a red-shirt was being out the whole season, not being able to practice and be out there with my team,” said Santos.

Since then, Santos has been using his time to take care of himself so he’s ready to compete this fall and eventually in the spring season when it comes around.

Santos said, “I’ve been taking extra care of my hand, trying to stay in shape, being extra cautious in the weight room and taking extra reps out on the field and in the cages.”

The team is currently working with each other to get ready for the fall season which is coming up in just a few weeks with the first game on Oct. 13 where they will host Mt. Sac College at noon.

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About the Contributor
Emily Maciel, Staff Writer
Emily Maciel is a staff writer for Talon Marks covering community news and sports. When she’s not reporting you can find her at Kincaid Field or Angels Stadium where she turns her love for baseball into work. She hopes to transfer to Cal State University Dominguez Hills in 2024 and work for the MLB one day.
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