Baseball: Riley is new head coach for Thunder

Former Elk athlete Christopher Riley is the new head coach for Zimmerman baseball.

Riley, a 1991 ERHS graduate who played football, basketball and baseball, has been the Thunder assistant coach for several years under Matt Kraus, who resigned.

Christopher Riley
Christopher Riley

A physical education teacher at Westwood Elementary, he was an Elks assistant coach in the late 1990’s and has coached Zimmerman youth teams for 10 years. He’s also a Thunder assistant football coach.

The Thunder, 5-14 last year, have seven returning starters: pitcher Zach Nolan, catcher Riley Graham, infielders Mitch Mossman and Taylor Snow, and outfielders Craig Stieskal, Austin Tretbar and Mack Riley.

“I’m excited for this opportunity and look forward to the start of the season,” said Riley.  “I think the biggest factor this year will be more depth in our pitching and obviously a more experienced team overall.”

Riley said the pitching rotation will include Nolan, Mossman, and Zach Ruprecht with Steiskal, Snow, Tretbar and Riley backing them up. Other players in the mix will be Lee Christopherson, Zach Ruprecht, Ryan Wystepik, Dane Werner, Devin Quigley.

The Thunder are scheduled to open on the road against Becker on Thursday, April 10, and Rockford on Friday with the home opener Monday against Little Falls, a double headers.