EST. 1989 . . . Our Bandit Baseball Mission: Growing Great Men, One Boy at a Time . . . Our Bandit Website has Over 1.851 Million Views in 16 Years - Awesome, We Thank You for Your Continued Support . . . Bandit Core Values: My Faith, My Family, My Team, Myself . . . Bandit Core Priorities: Family First, Strength in Faith, Strength of Character, Academics, Attitude, Ability . . . IRON SHARPENS IRON: "Sometimes the Strongest Emotion is Silence" . . . Our Bandit Family Wishes You and Your Family Abundant Blessings, Great Health and a Happy and Safe Tuesday November 28, 2023 . . . This is a Time for Inspiration not a Time for Desperation - Be a Leader as We Adjust to our “New Reality” . . . Our Home Page Picture is of our 2-Sport High School All District Selection & Bandit 1998 & 2000 National Finalist Adam Lopez pictured first row far right celebrating a Bandit National Regional Championship with his teammates in Tucson Arizona  . . . In 1992, Coach Mike coined the phrase “It’s a Great Day to be a Bandit” and it remains True Today: Happy Birthday To College Player, High School All City and All District Selection and our "Original Bandit" Champ Hernandez Who Turns 43 on Thursday November 30 . . . Happy Birthday To 2-Sport High School All District Selection & Bandit 1998 & 2000 National Finalist Adam Lopez Who Turns 37 on Thursday November 30 . . . Happy Birthday To Bandit Nathan Volpi Who Turns 32 on Thursday November 30 . . . Happy Birthday To "Grandpa Bandit" Hernandez Who Celebrates Thursday November 30 from his Skybox in Heaven . . . Happy Birthday To Bandit Mom Mandy Franco Who Celebrates Wednesday November 29 . . . Happy Birthday To 2002 National Finalist Bandit Mom Bridgett Bumpas Who Celebrates Tuesday November 28 . . . "THE HEART OF A CHAMPION is always beating but it always remembers to beat AS ONE". . . We Pray that our Roots helped you find your Wings - - "that God will Fill your Heart with Dreams and that Faith gives you the Courage to Dare to do Great Things". . . As your lives continue so does our journey "It's a Great Day to be a Bandit"!

2006 Bandits Open With 5-0 Championship Run: 9 Returnees, 4 New Bandits

We have a “Stanford, Rice, Notre Dame” type roster with all 13 solid A-B students, Honor Society members, “Gifted and Talented/Cosmos” Program participants and solid, positive young men. We have two players who could play in the 13 and under division this Spring. Our players are Science Sweepstake Winners; members of their respective schools’ National Junior Honor Societies; members of the seventh grade football and baseball championships; eighth grade football championship and eighth grade basketball championship. Each one is a solid young man with high academic success and great character. They are exciting off the field as young men and we believe will bring equal excitement in helping us on the field. Young – yes, athletic – absolutely and quality individuals – definitely.

CJ Avalos is our “Renaissance Man”. He has gained awards for his band and jazz band endeavors; has won Science Fair competitions; Honor Society member; plays football, basketball, baseball and runs track; loves playing “paintball” and playing the drums; excels in math competitions; selected “Most Athletic” and “Most Likely to Succeed” by his peers at Clarke Middle School; does community service with PALS and loves listening to rock music. Avalos is arguably the quickest baseball player in his age division at the Sportspark. He will see time at second base and patrol the outfield and hit near the top of the batting order. CJ won the recent Science Sweepstakes Award for Clarke Middle School. What we love about CJ is though he is a player of few words his hustle and talent speak volumes.

Josh Avalos has adapted to many roles on our team. He pitched, played shortstop and third base. He will again prove his versatility in the field in 2006. Josh had many clutch hits both in the Spring and Fall. His two most memorable home runs were in the Spring playoffs where his 3 run shot tied the game and allowed for a comeback win and clean sweep in the playoffs. In the Fall, he punctuated a 9-0 win with a 3 run “laser” that turned out to be a walk-off home run. Also in the Fall, he pitched 4 shutout innings against the Las Cruces junior varsity squad. Josh is in the honor society at Montwood Middle and plays football, baseball and runs track for his school. He also is a standout wrestler on his club team. Once Josh believes in himself as much as we believe in him, stand back and enjoy the explosion.

Mike Bolaski joined our squad this Fall. Mike played second base, shortstop, third base and pitched for our squad. Mike hit in the 2 spot, the 4 spot and the 5 spot in the order. Mike batted over .400. Bolaski finished with the fifth highest batting average (.417) on the team. Mike has become a pleasant surprise with his mound duty finishing with 3 consecutive quality starts. The third youngest Bandit on the squad offers a tremendous upside in terms of potential and talent already in place. What Mike does well, he will do better and he will continue to make our squad deeper and stronger because he produces when it matters and games are “on the line.” Mike is so committed and dedicated that he was seen taking over 100 cuts on Christmas Eve. “Bo” plays baseball and runs track for Desert View Middle School.

Kyle Bumpas returns for his fourth year of Bandit baseball. Kyle pitches, plays first base, outfield and even had to play shortstop when injuries mounted. Kyle has batted lead-off, two hole and third in the order. He has been the team’s leading hitter every year not only in batting average and runs scored but with also has the highest average with runners in scoring position. He has also lead his teams in stolen bases, pitching wins and earned run average. He is the “ace” of our pitching staff and has the ability to make players who play with him better. Kyle is a member of the Honor Society and band at Ensor Middle School. He plays football, basketball, baseball and has run track for his school.

Just when you thought we had done exceptionally well in finding players to fill our vacancies, along came Vince. Vince Centeno has played third base and pitched. He played football, baseball and runs track for Clarke Middle School. He is outstanding in the classroom. He has a passion for the game of baseball and dreams of playing collegiately and even professionally. His favorite subjects are math and science and hopes to get his degree in engineering. He has found a way to integrate his love of baseball and science by utilizing his acquired baseball knowledge to develop scientific theories. He regularly participates and excels in science and math competitions. He will be the second youngest Bandit this Spring turning 14 in July. Vince will play middle infield, third base, pitch and take a turn at catching this Spring. He will also find himself situated in the heart of the Bandit offensive order. Young, articulate and talented serve as a foundation for a great future for Vince.

Mark Gandara returns this year. Mark is beset by a preseason injury but upon his return in May he will continue to catch, play the outfield and take a turn at third base. Mark has our award for “Most Improved Player.” Not only has Mark developed a better understanding of the catching position but his hitting has improved as well. Mark’s batting average rose over 200 points from the Fall to the Spring. Mark was third on the team in stolen bases and his contact percentage has increased nearly 50% from Fall 2004. Gandara has really toughened up mentally and physically just during his time with the Bandits. Mark is an Honor Society student who plays football, basketball, baseball, track and is in the school band at Clarke. Mark is an accomplished computer wizard designing computer video games and computer movies. Gandara was showcased in the El Paso times this year for his computer programming exploits. Mark’s potential continues to rise and our Bandit team will continue to benefit.

Lance “Dakota” Gruber returns following an spectacular Fall finish. Lance hit home runs in three consecutive games during the Fall. Lance will again see duty on the bump, at first base and in the outfield. Lance’s pitching consistency suffered due to a Fall football injury but his bat exploded in the team’s final 8 games. Lance hit the team’s biggest home run of the Fall with a Grand Slam in the final at bat against the Sun Kings. The two out Grand Slam saved the Bandits undefeated Fall season. “Dakota” finished with the fourth highest batting average in the Fall (.428) and led the team in runs batted in. Lance plays club basketball as well as football, basketball, baseball and runs track at Clarke. Lance has made huge gains in his athletic accomplishments ever since he dedicated himself to his Parents conditioning and strength regimen. Among the most common remarks that Bandits hear is how much Lance has improved not only in his strength, his stamina, his conditioning but also his game. Lance’s confidence level has increased since he now recognizes that the good things that happen are a direct result of his personal commitment. Lance is one of our team leaders both on and off the field.

Brian Hebblethwaite returns to give his team everything he has. He is one of the team’s top defensive players. When positioned correctly, Brian makes his own defensive highlight reel. Brian pitches, catches, plays third base, shortstop and second base for us. He has emerged as our top right handed pitcher and we believe is among the very best pitchers in our age division. Brian has the “heart of a Lion” and absolutely competes from start to finish. Offensively, Brian has batted lead-off, 2 hole, 3 hole, clean up, 5 hole and manned the 6th spot in our order. Hebblethwaite is one of the team’s best bunters. Brian is one of the pillars that this group of Bandits have been built upon. Hebblethwaite finished second in stolen bases both in the Spring and Fall seasons. He also finished second in pitching wins in both the Spring and Fall seasons. Brian has played football, basketball, baseball and runs track for Sun Ridge Middle School. You ask and Brian will do everything possible to provide. Brian is a top student in the classroom and a top teammate at the “yard.”

Nathan Pena was the first new player to make a commitment to join our Bandits for Spring 2006. Nathan plays football, baseball and runs track at Clarke Middle School. He is an A-B student in the classroom. Nathan has burst on the sports scene only in the past 2 years. He is highly regarded for his overall athleticism. He commits totally to his sports teams and will be counted on to help at the “dish” and in the outfield. Nathan has explosive acceleration and body movements. He possess a strong arm and a calm demeanor. He is the “sleeper” in the group because people have little idea of the enormous potential Nathan will develop this Spring. He will help behind the “dish” and find himself scattered at various places in the field. He has exceptional bat acceleration through the hitting zone and will offer protection for our middle of the order hitters. He is a tough out and has a tremendous upside once he gets comfortable. When Nathan steps up, he has already proven that others follow.

Chris Rubio brightens our Bandit roster this Spring. Chris has performed at 7 different positions for our team. He has played every position except for catcher and first base. Chris’ versatility is what makes our squad so deep. He has performed all the difficult tasks asked of him without dissent. Chris has the mental ability to play well as a starter and as a clutch performer off the bench. Chris has won games both with his bat and glove during his time with the Bandits. Chris is in the Honor Society, plays in the school band and plays with the Clarke baseball team. Chris is dependable and reliable and understands the Bandit system as well as anyone. He is one of our “coaches” on the field. Chris has a strong upside in his baseball future and we are Blessed to share in his positive journey. Chris is hard working and a tremendous teammate that we all count on.

Eric Stoltz continues the Stoltz’ legacy with our Bandits. He follows older brother George who is a member of our 2002 National Finalist. Eric has turned the corner in his baseball pursuits and finished with the third highest batting average this Fall hitting .437. Eric’s bunting skills have improved as has his contact percentage. Eric has always been among the team’s fastest players but now that he uses his speed in critical game situations it makes our “youngest” Bandit a sight to behold. Eric will turn 13 in January 2006. He will play all three outfield positions as well as find a spot in the infield to compete. Eric is an 8th grader attending Rio Bravo Middle School where he plays football, basketball, soccer, baseball and runs track for Rio Bravo Middle School. Stoltz is in the National Honor Junior Society and this year won the Science Sweepstakes Award for his entire school.

Then came Tommy. Tommy Valle is our new “power guy.” Tommy played infield and outfield and will see action throughout the field with the Bandits. Tommy gained our attention by hitting nearly .400 against the Bandits with multiple extra base hits. Tommy has a green belt in Kenpo Karate (just a friendly reminder to his Bandit coaches and teammates) and is working on his brown belt. He has started weight training (as if the “karate” thing didn’t get our attention). Tommy is also teaching himself to play the guitar. He is a solid A/B student in the classroom. By his pursuits, you can tell that he is a very disciplined and focused young man. He is focused and determined in his work habits and so eager to get started that he was the first to start our throwing program. Tommy will be counted on to help drive in runs and bolster the middle of our batting order. Valle strives to lead and excel in whatever he pursues and is very conscientious in his approach to his pursuits. Tommy’s quiet exterior masks a fiery competitor on the inside.

Marc Vargas joined our Bandits this past Fall. Marc pitched, played third base and all three outfield positions for our team. His first outing on the “bump” was a complete game 1-hitter. Marc has good command of the strike zone. Marc had a high on base percentage due to his good eye for the strike zone. Marc is one of our fastest Bandits. Marc plays basketball, baseball and runs track for Slider Middle school and is a member of this year’s eighth grade basketball champions. This Spring, Marc will see duty at third base, shortstop, second base, all three outfield positions and on the mound. As he gets more comfortable with our system, we expect Marc to bring his potential full circle on the diamond.

We are excited with the four new additions to our team. We love our returning Bandits and these guys will complement them on and off the field. Class, character, integrity, work ethic you name it this entire group of 13 Bandits is a solid “Grand Slam.” 2006 will be eventful and if things work out exciting and memorable. Stay Tuned. Good things will continue in 2006.