Michael Leal becomes DVHS baseball’s new skipper at 24 years old

New Deer Valley High School baseball coach Mike Leal. photo by Luke Johnson

New Deer Valley High School baseball coach Michael Leal. photo by Luke Johnson

By Luke Johnson

Deer Valley High School’s baseball team is going in a youthful direction and has hired Michael Leal to lead the program at just 24 years old.

“I think they just wanted to go with a younger style, just because there’s a little more energy, a little more passion, a little more want to win just like the players,” Leal said.

Leal graduated from DVHS in 2010, and led a 20-5 team with 23 RBI his senior year as the primary catcher. He also batted .308 and had an ERA of 2.50 while on the mound.

After playing at Diablo Valley College, Leal began his coaching career at Perk’s Sports Academy, which is a high level travel ball organization in Antioch. He said one of his biggest mentors has been Dennis Luquet, who coached at DVHS for 16 seasons, and made the North Coast Section Playoffs during 15 of those seasons with an overall record of 269-123. Leal was also influenced by Andy Tarpley during his time at DVC, who recently won back-to-back NCS Championships at College Park High School.

“He can teach everyone everything from making the grass grow, which he did over the fall here, to sliding into home plate,” Kevin Parker, 51, said about assistant coaching for someone much younger than him. “A guy with that much knowledge and passion to teach, which he does have, it makes it easier to coach with.”

When Leal was in high school, DVHS’s athletic program was on top of the Bay Valley Athletic League, and brought home 23 championships during his junior and senior years. But over the past two calendar years, the school has only totaled one league title. It hired new head coaches for the three most popular sports (football, basketball and baseball) as a result.

After finishing 8-15 last season, the baseball team hopes to rebuild and be competitive this year under the senior leadership of infielder Nassir Issa and five-tool outfielder Tyler Toland, along with talented junior right-handed pitcher Neftaly Perez.

“I for sure have a better chemistry with him,” Issa said about Leal, comparing him to former and older head coaches. “I can talk to him about whatever, even if it’s about school or something. Other coaches were just strictly baseball, but with him, if I have an issue, I can talk it out with him.”

The Wolverines have started off the season 3-3 with all their victories against opponents with winning records.

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2 Comments to “Michael Leal becomes DVHS baseball’s new skipper at 24 years old”

  1. Unknown says:

    This reporter guy “scoop” Johnson is a f***ing joke, flat out idiot. This is the 2nd article in 2 years that I’ve wasted my time reading just to see that he lies and puts words in a players mouth that he has not even come close to saying. I am good friends with Nasser Issa and he in no way said that or tried to imply that former coaches including Dennis Luquet or Dan Peters were hard to relate to, or not able to talk to about things other than baseball. That is a complete lie. All 3 coaches mentioned in this article are complete class acts, great coaches and even better people. It’s ridiculous that he would even think to say something that puts any one of these coaches down in any way. What a joke. Not only is he lying and trying to stir up controversy, he can’t even seem to realize that neff Perez is a right handed pitcher? He’s supposed to be this sports reporter and he doesn’t even know his right from his left. It’s ridiculous to me that he can’t get simple facts straight and continues to put unsaid words in a young high schoolers mouth and someone still allows him to write these articles. Him and his supervisor should feel ashamed.

    • Publisher says:

      Thank you for reading and your comment.
      Luke Johnson and I stand by his article.
      To be clear, he never mentioned the names of any of the previous coaches in the article.
      However, he said he did make a mistake on Neftaly Perez being left-handed.
      I’ve corrected that mistake.
      In the future, should you wish to comment, again, we don’t allow vulgarities on our website.
      So, please keep it respectable.
      Thank you.
      Allen Payton, Publisher

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