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FIELDER’S VOICES: Bracing for an action-packed week

There is a lot going on this week worthy of watching, and it’s not all on the diamond.

If you can’t get excited for Tuesday’s tri-meet in track, Wednesday’s Las Vegas-Desert Pines boys volleyball match or Findlay Prep at the National High School Invitational, well, what can you get excited for?

Little more than a week from now, we’ll all be watching spring break tournaments.

Don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a better way to spend my time off than watching the Spring Bash at Durango and Easter Classic at Bishop Gorman in baseball, plus the Spring Jamboree at Majestic Park and the Fred Davison Tourney at West Flamingo Park in softball.

But to tide you over until then, there’s a week packed with early-season league showdowns and potential playoff previews.

Here’s a look at the week ahead, with at least one event highlighted per day and a few of my picks to argue with:

Monday, March 30
The Arbor View baseball team invades Cimarron-Memorial at 3:30 p.m. in what is shaping up to be one of the biggest Northwest League games all season.

The two softball teams meet at the same time in another big game.

Look for me running back and forth between the bleachers trying not to miss a pitch.

Also, keep an eye on the Northwest boys golf match at 1 p.m. at Badlands. Palo Verde will have a slight home-course advantage.

Baseball pick: Cimarron 7, Arbor View 5

Softball pick: Cimarron 3, Arbor View 1

Boys golf pick: Palo Verde first, Centennial second, Arbor View third, Shadow Ridge fourth, Legacy fifth, Cimarron sixth

Tuesday, March 31
The Chaparral, Rancho and Valley boys track teams converge at Valley at 3:30 p.m. for a tri-meet pitting three of the best teams from the Sunrise Region.

Chaparral was third at state last season and Valley 13th.

One of the marquee events all season will be watching Valley’s Garic Wharton and Chaparral’s Joeal Hotchkins go head to head in the 100-meter dash.

Wednesday, April 1
In boys volleyball, defending state champion Las Vegas visits upstart Northeast League challenger Desert Pines at 6 p.m.

This match will provide a glimpse into how serious a playoff contender the Jaguars are.

The pick: Las Vegas 3, Desert Pines 2

Thursday, April 2
I’m more jacked for this day than any other on my calendar since the state basketball playoffs. I’ve been pondering it for weeks.

Rancho visits Las Vegas at 3:30 p.m. in a star-studded Northeast baseball game.

If the determined Rams are to become the first team since 2000 other than Las Vegas to win the Northeast, they have to strike here.

Who will start for Rancho: Justin Neubauer or Eric Holdren? Either way, the Rams should be in good shape on the hill.

But can they match the Wildcats’ potent lineup?

The pick: Las Vegas 6, Rancho 5 (9 innings)

Friday, April 3
Findlay Prep opens the National High School Invitational with a quarterfinal game against Mountain State Academy at 3 p.m. on ESPNU.

The Pilots rolled to a 30-0 record during the regular season, but that dominance came before stud forward Victor Rudd’s abrupt exit in early March.

It will be interesting to see how they look without him against a field as packed as this.

The pick: Findlay Prep 80, Mountain State Academy 70

Saturday, April 4
This is about as slow a Saturday as there’s been in months.

You might find me catching some track at the Palo Verde Relays, which will be running just about all day.

Also, Findlay Prep could be playing in the semifinals of the National High School Invitational.

Sunday, April 5
No NIAA events, but Findlay Prep could be in the finals of the National High School Invitational — perhaps against Oak Hill.

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