Chavez, Matrisciano have gone from rivals to roommates

Former Rio Blanco County sports rivals are now teammates at CNCC in Rangely ... see story and photos on Page 11A.

Former Rio Blanco County sports rivals are now teammates at CNCC in Rangely ... see story and photos on Page 11A.
Former Rio Blanco County sports rivals are now teammates at CNCC in Rangely ... see story and photos on Page 11A.
RANGELY I In high school, they played for rival teams on opposite ends of the county.
Now they are teammates. And not only that, roommates.
Roman Chavez of Rangely and Tyler Matrisciano of Meeker are first-year members of the Colorado Northwestern Community College baseball team.
Not that the two CNCC student athletes didn’t know each other before. They used to play on the same summer baseball team.
“We played together the last two summers,” Roman said.
This past summer, the pair played on a CNCC scout team, coached by former Rangely standout Paul Fortunato.
“It was fun,” Chavez said.
After their high school careers were over, Chavez and Matrisciano both decided to continue their playing days at CNCC.
“We pretty much planned on coming here together,” Matrisciano said.
Chavez added, “I think it was the best decision for us to come here.”
They join Stephen Boleng of Rangely as local players who have signed to play for the Spartans. Boleng is a sophomore outfielder.
“Stephen could be (starting) in left field, if he continues to do good things with the bat,” said second-year CNCC head coach Tom Cassera. “He has made considerable progress with the bat over the past year, and because he also has speed, he could play a major role.”
Freshmen Chavez and Matrisciano are adjusting to college ball.
“There’s a lot of difference, but at the same time, we can do this,” Chavez said.
Chavez played football and basketball for Rangely, in addition baseball, as did Matrisciano at Meeker. But both Chavez and Matrisciano said baseball was their favorite sport.
“Baseball’s always been my favorite,” Chavez said.
Matrisciano injured his knee early on during football last season and then had to sit out the entire basketball season while rehabbing.
“It’s doing good,” he said. “I didn’t really have the speed in baseball last year, but it’s starting to come back.”
Matrisciano, who was Meeker’s top pitcher last season, will play in the infield for the Spartans.
“Tyler is a player that I can use at third base as well as second and he won’t miss a beat,” CNCC coach Cassera said. “I would like to see Tyler in the lineup mainly because he can hit from both sides of the plate and he is field-wise.”
Chavez, who also was a pitcher for Rangely, will spend his time in the outfield at CNCC.
“I will most likely start Roman in centerfield because of his speed, plus he hits from the left side with power,” Cassera said.
The CNCC coach said all three players from Rio Blanco County are making an impact.
“All three have had a solid fall performance, and it is nice to see the local players making a contribution to the program,” Cassera said. “All three have worked very hard from the start and could see a lot of action in the spring.”