When the Roughrider Baseball team returned from Colorado after winning the NJCAA World Series, a crowd of supporters was on hand to meet them.
Stepping off the bus, the players were happy as they showed off the trophy. Of course, they also brought home individual honors: Joseph ‘JoJo’ Romero, Brock Ephan, Turtle Kuhaulua, Ramsey Romano and Nate Easley were all named to the All-Tournament team. Nate Easley was named the Jay Tolman Most Outstanding Defensive Player and Turtle Kuhaulua was named the Preston Walker Most Valuable Player. Head Coach Ryan Cougill was named the Bus Bergman Coach of the Year.
Cougill was quick to give credit to the team, stating that they played hard and never give up.
Friday morning, pitcher JoJo Romero had his hopes fulfilled.
As reported by Yavapai College Athletic Director Brad Clifford, "Fresh off a 15 strikeout, complete game victory in the NJCAA World Series Title Game, Friday morning Roughrider pitcher JoJo Romero was selected in 2016 Major League Baseball Draft by the Philadlphia Phillies as the first pick in the fourth round. Romero becomes the highest Roughrider picked in the draft since 1986 when Curt Schilling was chosen in the 2nd round by the Boston Red Sox."
According to Baseball-Reference.com, as Clifford points out, Yavapai has had 133 players chosen in the draft since 1971, 12 in the first round. From those 133 draft picks, 15 played in the Major Leagues:
Rick Kranitz (MLB pitching coach)