Craig Page has been named the new head baseball coach at Braden River High.
He replaces Mike Verrill, who stepped down after two seasons.
"I am excited and thankful for this opportunity," said Page who has been Braden River's pitching coach the last four years. "I will still handle the pitching and I am just looking for hard nose guys who scrap."
As a junior, Page was a reserve pitcher on Lakewood Ranch's 2003 state championship baseball team. The lefty had a solid season and earned a scholarship to Florida Community College in Jacksonville in 2004. He was an all-conference pitcher and after his sophomore season played at Lyon College, an NAIA school in Arkansas.
Page was the Lyon College pitcher of the year as a senior in 2009. The previous summer, he was named to the second team in the New York Collegiate League.
The 27-year-old Page inherits a team that was 12-17 last year and 14-12 the previous season. It lost 13 seniors.
"We only have one senior pitcher returning and no starting position players, but there are a lot of good underclassmen coming up and we hope to develop a strong mindset," Page said. "I am an advocate for the changeup. I think it's the best pitch in baseball. We are going to attack the zones, change speeds and rely on defense.
"With the new bats implemented two years ago, things have changed. We are a small-ball team that is going to move guys around. We want to be good situational hitters and be aggressive on the bases."
Page is a math teacher at Braden River. He coached under Ryan Hilton during his first two years at the school.
"Craig is somebody we really wanted. He brings a lot of energy, and we believe he will do a good job in taking this program in the right direction," Braden River athletic director Bob Bowling said.