The Winchester Royals are excited to have Coach Mike Smith as the 2021 Head Coach. Coach Smith has 15 years experience in the Valley Baseball League and has coached over 55 players who were drafted in the Major League Baseball. In his 15 years of experience with the VBL, he has served as the Field Manager, Assistant Coach, General Manager, and Head Coach for 5 different teams. In 2010, Coach Smith was an Assistant and First Base Coach for the Winchester Royals. He served as an Associate Scout for the Kansas City Royals from 2008-2015. Coach Smith was also a Bench Coach for Shenandoah University from 2004-2005.
Coach Smith is currently the Head Coach for the Clarke County High School Eagles and has been coaching high school baseball for 25 years. He was the Bull Run and Northern Virginia Daily Coach of the Year in 2001 and 2003, the Region B Coach of the Year in 2003. Coach Smith was named the Winchester Star Coach of the Year in 2001, 2003, and 2018. He has been selected 4 times to coach in the Mid-Atlantic Baseball All-Star Game.
Coach Wyatt Potter is returning for his second year with the Winchester Royals. After serving as a Volunteer Coach for the 2019 season, Coach Potter completed his lifelong baseball career as a Designated Hitter and Utility Player for Shenandoah University, where he graduated in May of 2020 with a Bachelor's Degree in Sports Management and a Minor in Coaching. During the VBL hiatus due to COVID-19 in summer of 2020, Coach Potter continued coaching summer ball with Coach Mike Smith and served as the First Base Coach for the Blue Ridge Generals. Coach Potter served as a Volunteer Coach, First Base Coach, Catching Coach, and Recruiting Coordinator for Hood College in Frederick, MD while providing assistance to the Hitting Coach and Strength & Conditioning Program for the 2020-2021 season.
Coach Potter will be added to the Coaching Staff at his Alma Mater, Shenandoah University for the 2021-2022 season where he will serve as an Assistant & First Base Coach, Recruiting Coordinator, and he will continue providing assistance to Hitting and Catching Coaches. The Royals are excited to welcome back Coach Potter.
Coach Sikora has been coaching at the high school level for the past 13 years. Currently, he's the Head Coach at Briar Woods High School in Ashburn, VA, where his Falcons have advanced to the state playoffs the past two years and won the VHSL Class 5A State Championship in 2017, when he was an Assistant with the program. Prior to that, Coach Sikora spent 4 years as an Assistant Coach at Woodgrove High School in Purcellville, VA, where he helped guide the Wolverines to regional appearances in three of those seasons, and one state semi-final appearance. Before Woodgrove, Coach Sikora was the Head Coach at Dominion High School in Sterling, VA for three years. He began his coaching career at Millbrook High School in Winchester, VA and has spent time coaching travel teams in the Winchester area. As a player at Penn State Altoona, Coach Sikora was an Infielder, and later became a Student Assistant at Frostburg State University. He currently resides in Winchester, VA with his family and teaches Health and Physical Education in Loudoun County.
ETHAN "JUNIOR" CARPER
Ethan Carper, better known as “Junior” is joining the Winchester Royals for a second season as the honorary Bat Boy. Junior was born in Winchester, VA and now splits his time in the Shenandoah Valley between Winchester, VA and Staunton, VA. He started playing t-ball at 3 years old and by the age of 4, he began his career as a Bat Boy for Robert E. Lee High School. In 2018, Junior served as the Bat Boy for the Staunton Braves and his family hosted a player from the University of Miami for the first time. Later that year, he was named the VBL South All-Star Bat Boy. In 2019, Junior joined the Winchester Royals as the Bat Boy, hosted a player from Tennessee Tech with his Father, and was named the North All-Star Bat Boy.
Junior loves playing baseball himself, and at 10 years old, is the youngest player in his league. When asked if he wants to play baseball in college some day, he said “yes” and spoke about his past summer brothers that still call or text him to catch up and check on him.
Junior’s favorite part about being involved with the Winchester Royals is being around the coaches and players - his Father explained “he loves sitting around the coaches and just listening. He takes it all in… and he’s learned so much from them.” When asking what kind of lessons Junior has taken from being with the organization and the people involved, his Father said “he knows not to throw his hat, his helmet, and I love that… He’s mature for his age - he knows what happens in the dugout, stays in the dugout - he knows that. I love it, I love it.” And we love having the opportunity to welcome Junior back as the Winchester Royals Bat Boy for a second season.