ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – What do you do for an encore after a 28-1 season that also brought a Class 6A State Championship? The La Cueva Bears are about to find out as they defend their title won a season ago.

“You know, if we can develop some pitching and you know, I think our defense is going to be as good as it was last year…and our offense got a chance to be close to what it was last year,” said Bears Head Coach Gerard Pineda. “Hopefully we will be in the conversation come state tournament time.”

Outfielder and catcher Ryan Johnson agrees with his coach.

“We did lose some pitching, but we should be able to overcome all of that just with the chemistry and team confidence we have been able to build over last season,” said Johnson.

Pitcher Ben Schoneman is the only Bear among the pitchers with varsity experience. He set himself apart with his talent last season while helping the Bears win it all.

Schoneman is so confident in the Bears ability to play on the defensive end, he feels like it will help make up for the inexperience at pitcher.

“It’s a lot more helpful when you have a defense like we have behind us,” said Schoneman. “Because it gives you that confidence, even if you miss a pitch your defense will be behind you to back you up.”

The Bears will start the season Feb. 27 just like they did last year, against the Valley Vikings. The Vikings were the only team to beat the Bears last year in the season opener.