American Legion Twins preview: The pieces are there, but they’re not in place yet

American Legion Post 20 Twins coach Robb Quelland has a bunch of puzzle pieces in front of him that he thinks will make a nice finished product.

Now he just has to figure out how to put it all together.

The Twins start their season today with a game in Anchorage against West at 6:30 p.m.

“We’re bringing kids from different schools and coaches together into one program to compete with schools that play the high school season together,” Quelland said. “Most of the teams wear the same jersey they do in high school.

“So we have a few days to get ready when they’ve had three months in high school.”

The Twins bring together the high school programs from Homer, Kenai Central and Soldotna. This can sometimes mean a slow start, but three state Legion titles attest that the Twins can put it all together.

Last season the local nine nearly added a fourth, losing the state title game to Chugiak. The Twins lost just three main players from that team.

“We’re excited about the capability and the talent, but we still have to come together and play as a team,” Quelland said. “We’re excited about the players at both levels.”

The Twins program has two levels, AA or varsity and A or JV. But Quelland said this year could be unique with the levels meshing more than usual.

“In years past, the teams have been really separated but with the quality of play, both rosters are not set,” Quelland said. “We’ve got two very competitive squads.”

Quelland said the depth speaks to the quality of the high school programs on the Kenai Peninsula.

Early on, Quelland said the AA squad will lean on the vets who have already been out of high school for a year — JJ Sonnen, Justice Miller and Klayton Justice.

The Twins also have seven of the starting nine from a Soldotna team, also coached by Quelland, that just qualified for state.

Those players are Kenny Griffin, Calvin Hills, Joey Becher, Cody Quelland, Terrance Slats, Mathew Daugherty and Mason Prior.

From Kenai Central, Quelland also said Paul Steffensen is a big addition, and Gavin Petterson also will get innings on the mound and serve as a backup catcher.

The Twins also get a big injection of talent from Tyler Covey, who didn’t play for the Stars high school team this year, and Josh Darrow, who had a successful senior year in Utah.

On the mound, Quelland expects Becher and Daugherty to lead early, but with a lot of players with pitching experience, he said there’s no telling what the staff will turn into by season’s end.

Behind the plate, Griffin will be a veteran catcher backed up by Cody Quelland and Petterson.

The infield and outfield will be where coach Quelland has even more pieces to arrange.

“We have players that can play multiple places,” Quelland said. “It’s going to come down to who’s swinging the bat. It’s a luxury we have.”

The coach said the team has come together quickly. He credited the players and team manager Lance Coz for making the sacrifices to make baseball happen in the summer.

“In the few short practices, there’ve been no high school team colors on the field,” Quelland said. “It’s all Kenai Post 20 Twins.”

More in Sports

Soldotna junior Brayden Taylor rushes the ball down the field during the Division II state football championship game against Lathrop at Service High School in Anchorage on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Lathrop snaps SoHi’s run of state titles

The Soldotna Stars football team fell to Fairbanks’ Lathrop High School in… Continue reading

Soldotna’s Gehret Medcoff runs for a touchdown against Wasilla on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Stars dominate major NLC football awards

Soldotna, which went undefeated in the Northern Lights Conference this season, won… Continue reading

SoHi wrestlers take 4th at Houston Altercation

The Soldotna wrestling team finished fourth at the season-opening Houston Altercation Tournament… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Emma Beck attacks against Nikiski's Rylee Ellis on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Volleyball roundup: Kenai tops Nikiski; Wasilla sweeps SoHi

The senior civics project of Valerie Villegas was a smashing success Friday… Continue reading

Morgan Aldridge leads riders down a hill at the start of Week 3 of the Soldotna Cycle Series on Thursday, July 18, 2019, at Tsalteshi Trails. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Chainwreck Cyclocross Series holds final race of season

The Chainwreck Cyclocross Series wrapped up with the fifth race Thursday at… Continue reading

Nikiski's Rylee Ellis attacks against Soldotna's Ashlee Anderson on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Volleyball roundup: SoHi, Kenai pull out wins

Staff report Host Soldotna celebrated its senior night with a 3-1 nonconference… Continue reading

Brock Wilson and Brayden Taylor lead Soldotna onto Justin Maile Field for a Division II semifinal against North Pole on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi football to play for 9th straight state title

Eight straight state titles, and 12 since 2006. An 18-game postseason winning… Continue reading

MJ Hendren pictured kayaking at Hidden Lake next to a large rock exposure. (Photo provided)
Refuge Notebook: Geology of the Kenai … it rocks!

One thing that never ceases to amaze me about living in Alaska… Continue reading

The pedicure in question has seen many miles of hiking and walking since it was first painted on five months ago. (Photo by Kat Sorensen)
Tangled Up in Blue: A perfect pedicure

There is just the smallest sliver of light pink nail polish left… Continue reading

Most Read