Five Pumas sign National Letters of Intent
November 9, 2021
The PHS athletic department celebrated its college-bound senior athletes on Wednesday for National Signing Day, and three baseball players highlighted the event.
Hernandez will be attending Arizona State University as a pitcher and first baseman. As a junior, he was named to the All CUSD and All Premier Region teams as a hitter. Offensively, Hernandez was among the top-3 leaders in hits (23), doubles (9), RBI (12), runs scored (18), base on balls (10), average (.418), SLG (.564), and OBP (.569). As the season progressed, Hernandez found his groove on the mound, which propelled him to a special summer where he was invited to national events by Marucci and New Balance, highlighted by a trip to New York City to pitch in the New Balance Future Stars Series at Citi Field.
"Stephen is the kind of athlete who is driven to be the best he can be every single day, and that is a trait that only our best players in school history have had," head coach Damien Tippett said.
A South Mountain Community College signee, Miller had arguably the best season on the mound of any Puma hurler in 2021. The team's closer, Miller earned both All CUSD and All Premier Region honors while leading PHS in appearances (13), earned run average (1.43), WHIP (0.88), and he held hitters to a lowly .170 BAA. Miller made his mark on school history, as he tied the school record for saves (4), tied for second in appearances (13), all in a Covid-shortened season. He was 4-4 in save opportunities.
"We can't speak highly enough about Nik," Tippett said. "His work ethic, the kind of teammate he is, and the guts this guy has is second to none."
Salas signed his NLI with Utah Valley University, where he too will get the opportunity to pitch and play in the field. Salas was an integral part of the Pumas qualifying for postseason play for the seventh consecutive year in '21; he played many roles for Tippett, including starts on the mound, third base, first base, and left field. As a pitcher, he allowed a minuscule .222 opponent batting average. At the plate, he drove in nine runs while scoring nine, hit one home run in 41 at bats.
Tippett said of Salas: "The sky's the limit for Stryder. He had a good summer and fall, and seems to be learning how to use his big frame. He is incredibly athletic, and we are really excited to see him compete this season."
As a junior, Noreus started and played every single inning at shortstop in 2021, and looks to have a stronghold on the position for his senior campaign. Noreus was second (only behind catcher Carter Richey) in total chances in the field (63) last season, and wrapped with a .905 fielding percentage, which is the best since 2018 when Matty Brown accomplished the same feat on 95 TCs. Noreus signed with Kankakee Community College in Illinois.
"Gavin has a glove that most college coaches hunt for on their teams, and his bat is getting better every day," Tippett said. In 2021, Noreus drove in 10 runs as the team's clean-up hitter.
Joining Noreus at Kankakee Community College will be infielder Tyler Thompson, who had a breakout season in 2021, mostly as the team's designated hitter. As a junior, he had some huge hits in tight situations, as he was one of the team leaders in 2-out RBI. This fall he led the Pumas in several offensive categories.
Tippett said of Thompson: "Tyler has been grinding. He is the kind of kid who hates to lose, and he plays with a chip on his shoulder. He has put in a lot of work and we are really excited for his senior season and college opportunity."
Lastly, while she may not be a baseball player, Jaelyn Pallas is certainly part of the baseball program. The senior soccer player signed with Indiana University, making her the third Pallas to play college athletics, joining brother Trenton (baseball '20) and sister Taryn (soccer).
CJ Snowden named NAAAA athlete of the year
July 30, 2021
According to a press release, the Phoenix Chapter conducts an annual statewide search for the best African American male athletes who have earned a 3.0 or better grade point average, participate in community service, and excel in their varsity sport(s). A starter on both the varsity baseball and football teams as a sophomore, Snowden has a 3.7 grade-point average and hopes to play both sports in college while majoring in dentistry.
As a sophomore, Snowden played in 11 games of a Covid-shortened season and became the Pumas' everyday right fielder. He hit .286 and scored nine runs in a short time. During the summer, Snowden participated in the Future Stars Games - an event for the nation's top baseball players in the 2023 age group.
"The sky is the limit for CJ," head coach Damien Tippett said. "He has the tools to be a good D-1 outfielder ... he has put in the work this summer. He identified his flaws at the plate and has been a cage-rat this summer to improve his game. We couldn't be happier for him and this award."
Snowden is the first player from the baseball program to win the NAAAA Phoenix Chapter scholar-athlete of the year award.
Carter Richey named Arizona Republic POY finalist
June 6, 2021
The post-season honors keep rolling in for catcher Carter Richey. On Memorial Day weekend, he represented the 6A South team in the AzBCA All Star Game, and a week later, the Arizona Republic has named the senior as one of 12 finalists for the All-Arizona Player of the Year.
In a condensed season, Richey did not hold back. He was the Pumas' leading hitter, collecting 28 hits, 21 singles, four doubles, a triple, and two home runs. In addition, he drove in 19 runs, scored eight (he was a rare catcher who ran his own bases for much of the season), drew 12 walks, and stole three bases. He hit a school-record .483, and 1.259 OPS.
In May, he was named the 6A Premier Region Offensive Player of the Year, All-CUSD first team, and his teammates voted him the unanimous MVP for the '21 campaign. He also served as one of the team's captains - an honor voted on by his teammates.
"Carter embraced his opportunity to lead our team this year," head coach Damien Tippett said. "Nobody worked harder, and nobody bought into the program more than Carter. He has left a legacy. He is an all-time great Puma."
2021 varsity highlight video
Season comes to a close with annual banquet
May 20, 2021
The 2021 season officially wrapped up this week with the annual banquet. For the first time, the banquet was held on the field and the booster club really did a great job to make it a first-class event.
More than 200 people enjoyed the evening in the left-field grass. The freshmen and junior varsity teams were honored by their respective coaches, head coach Damien Tippett honored the players across the program who earned 3.5 GPAs and above, including several members of the varsity team who earned the AIA Dr. Voie award for academics, as well as senior Broc Williams for winning the Character Matters Athlete of the Year award.
The coaches then honored the 16 underclassmen who lettered, including all-region and All CUSD players Luke Hinze, Stephen Hernandez, Cade Lacy, Zack Agnew, Nik Miller, and Gavin Noreus. Next, the coaches honored all four seniors: Carter Richey, Cinch Smith, Justin Still, and Williams.
To wrap up the evening, Tippett announced the team's annual awards:
Defensive Player of the Year: Luke Hinze
Pitcher of the Year: Justin Still
Puma Award: Broc Williams
MVP: Carter Richey
The Pumas don't have much time to rest: summer camp and summer league will begin on May 28. All incoming freshmen and sophomores should already be registered for camp, with the future 9th graders having already been contacted for a parent meeting later this week.
Postseason report: 8 Pumas earn 2021 honors
May 19, 2021
The 2021 season saw the Pumas continue their playoff streak to seven years, and eight players earned All CUSD and All Premier Region honors. Perry was lead by senior catcher Carter Richey, who was named the region's Offensive Player of the Year. Richey hit a team record .483, and also lead the Pumas in hits (28) and RBI (19). In addition, Richey finished the season with the highest batting average and OBP (.569) in the region, second in slugging (.690), and fifth in RBI.
Two-thirds of the outfield also earned All Region 1st team honors: juniors Stephen Hernandez and Luke Hinze.
A variety of others earned 2nd team All Region honors, including senior pitcher Justin Still, junior third baseman Cade Lacy, and sophomore pitcher Zack Agnew. Rounding out the honors were another pair of juniors: shortstop Gavin Noreus and closer Nik Miller, who each earned honorable mention. All players were also named to the All CUSD team. For those results, see below.
Lastly, Richey was named to the AzBCA 6A All Star Game, to be played on May 30 at Goodyear Ballpark.To see how the Pumas compared to others in the region, click here.
1st Team: Carter Richey, Stephen Hernandez, Luke Hinze
Honorable Mention: Zack Agnew, Cade Lacy, Nik Miller, Gavin Noreus, Justin Still
ALL PREMIER REGION:
Offensive POY: Carter Richey
RING OF HONOR:
Pumas to induct first member to Ring of Honor April 20
April 16, 2021
The Perry Baseball program will induct Jacob Medina as its first member to the Pumas' Ring of Honor at 3:45 on April 20. The pre-game ceremony will honor the 2019 grad who passed away after a long battle with cancer in 2020.
Medina was an athletic outfielder and pitcher for the Pumas who worked hard and always brought positive energy to the team. During the pre-game ceremony, the team will unveil an outfield sign honoring Medina.