Rio Rancho High School baseball coach Ron Murphy became the career leader in victories in New Mexico last season, and will soon post his 600th career win.
The Rams were 20-1 last season, that lone loss coming in the first round of the state tournament. He was asked 10 questions by the Observer; here are his responses:
Highlights from 2021 season? Undefeated district champs and undefeated regular season.
Worst nightmare(s) of 2021 season? None.
Top returning players for 2022? Devon Alvarado, Dominic Priddy, Josh Boyer, Ryan Casados, Elijah Castañeda, Noah Braunschweiger.
Varsity newcomers? Kai Fitak, Seth Lee, Vascon Smith, Casen Savage, Nick Di Gregerio, Izzy Tafoya, Bryan Vasquez, Jason Parker.
Who’s the first guy at practice and the last guy to leave? Devon Alvarado.
Team you face that if you beat, you know it’ll be a good season? Americas or Pebble Hills of El Paso .
Who’s the front-runner or pre-season favorite in District 1-5A? Everybody but us.
For my team to get to the 5A state championship game, we need to: stay healthy and throw strikes! (Starting catcher Josh Boyer broke two fingers in Feb. 12 scrimmage, and is out 4-6 weeks.)
What do you hear yourself saying to your players, year after year? The word “Compete “ and “It’s baseball weather “ no matter the weather outside.
What’s the most-important skill you hope your players have? The will to get better everyday on and off the field!
Assistant coaches/roles: David Gomez (varsity assistant and pitching coach), Gino Satriana (varsity assistant), Josh LaCombe (junior varsity head coach), Mario Tafoya (C-team head coach).