Rifle senior baseball player Takoda Chaney signed a letter of intent Thursday to play baseball at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.
Chaney, who has played primarily pitcher and centerfield for the Bears, will be joining a team that won both the regular season and tournament championships in the CCIW last spring. The Vikings have made NCAA Division III Tournament appearances in 1999, 2007, 2008, 2013 and 2016. Their head coach Greg Wallace has 19 consecutive winning seasons with a 553-257 overall record.
Two seasons ago, Chaney had a breakout season, hitting .486 with a .592 on-base percentage and nine stolen bases. He was also 3-1 on the mound with a 4.20 earned run average and 31 strikeouts in 33 innings pitched. He was selected to the first team All-Western Slope League and was Rifle’s Pitcher of the Year.
As a junior, Chaney’s .341 average and defensive play in the outfield helped the Bears in their 14-6 season and trip to the 4A playoffs where Rifle fell 6-3 to Thompson Valley in Pueblo.
This spring Chaney will be one of eight seniors returning to a team with hopes of repeating last year’s success with a trip to the 4A playoffs for the seventh time in the past eight years.