High School Sports

For Pedretti, baseball is the family business. Now it brings him back to Merced High.

Tynan Pedretti
Tynan Pedretti

Tynan Pedretti jokes that he grew up in a dugout.

His father Chris Pedretti just finished his 35th season as the Merced College head baseball coach, eclipsing the 800-win mark this season while leading the Blue Devils to a Central Valley Championship.

His older brother Joel is an assistant coach at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash.

Tynan Pedretti, 26, is continuing the family business as the new Merced High baseball coach.

“I’m ecstatic,” Pedretti said. “The first person I called when I got the job was my dad to let him know. I didn’t expect to get this opportunity so early, but I’m glad for the chance.”

Pedretti is one of three recent coaching hires at Merced High. He’ll be joining new girls basketball coach Art Solis and girls volleyball coach Patricia Flanagan.

Pedretti spent the last three years assistant his father at Merced College. He’s also spent his last two summers coaching the Atwater Aviators.

“Coaching is something I’ve always had a passion for after seeing my father handle things on and off the field,” Pedretti said. “He’s somebody I’ve always looked up to. The first time I thought about coaching I was probably in the seventh or eighth grade.”

Pedretti graduated from Merced High in 2009, where he played under former Bears coach Lou Souza. He then played for his father at Merced College for two years before transferring to the University of Hawaii his junior season and then CSU Stanislaus for his senior year.

“My father and Lou Souza are huge mentors for me,” Tynan said. “I had the opportunity to play travel ball with those two as our coach since I was 8 years old and then to play for coach Souza in high school and my dad in college. My baseball philosophy has come from those two guys. The way they treat players and get the best out of their players.”

Pedretti takes over the Bears baseball program after Justin Parle stepped down after this past season. Parle served as Merced’s head coach for five seasons.

“We want to play baseball correctly,” Pedretti said. “We want to play it fast and put pressure on the other team and let them make mistakes. At Merced College we tried to get them own, get them over and get them in. We’re going to try do the same thing at Merced High.”

Solis ready to take over girls basketball program

Coaching is also sort of a family business for Solis. His brother, Frank, will begin his first season as the El Capitan High head football coach this fall. Art, who was a quarterback at Golden Valley in high school, will actually be helping him out.

Art Solis, 33, started coaching girls basketball 10 years ago as a freshmen assistant coach at Golden Valley. The 2002 Golden Valley graduate spent 7 years coaching the lower levels for the Cougars program before coaching at Merced High the past 3 seasons.

Solis takes over for Rob Pierce, who coached the Bears for four years, leading Merced to a 60-41 record.

“Right when I got the position I met with the girls,” Solis said. “I told them how ready I am and how I was excited. But I also asked them to write down what they feel it would take for us to be successful. I wasn’t talking about winning league or championships. Just overall for our program.

“After reading all the responses, we came up with one thing – change. With the change in coaches, style and offense. Nothing against Rob, he did a great job, but I felt that was the right word for us this year. If we want playoff results we need playoff effort. If we want championship results we need to put in championship effort this offseason.”

Flanagan tries to rebuild volleyball program

Flanagan, 25, says she loves a challenge and she’s got one trying to turn around a Bears girls volleyball program that hasn’t made a playoff appearance since 2007.

“I’ve always wanted to run my own program,” Flanagan said. “I’ve been an assistant coach and coached junior high. As soon as I heard there was an opening I was interested. I’ve always like a challenge. I’m really excited for this opportunity. I can’t explain it.”

Flanagan graduated from Stone Ridge Christian High in 2009. She played volleyball throughout high school and college at Merced College and Hope International University. Since returning to the area, Flanagan has assisted at Stone Ridge Christian and coached at Rivera and Tenaya Middle Schools.

Flanagan feels the Bears must rebuild through hard work.

“As soon as I got hired we got going,” Flanagan said. “Right away we started working hard to get as many touches as possible. A lot of volleyball is muscle memory. I know we have to play together as much as possible.”

In the short time Flanagan has had to work with her new team, she likes what she’s seen.

“They are fighters,” Flanagan said. “I was interested to see what they would be like since I know they haven’t had a lot of success. I’m really happy with how competitive they are so far.”

Shawn Jansen: 209-385-2462, @MSSsports