East Mountain High School recently filled four coaching positions for the 2020-21 school year, including hiring alumni Ray Demarest and Aaron Caton.
Demarest is the new head coach of the school’s baseball team. Caton takes over the track and field team. The two are the first East Mountain alumni student-athletes to be named as head coaches at the school.
Demarest, who graduated in 2012, replaces longtime coach Dave Naylor, who departed in August.
Demarest played baseball at East Mountain under Coach Naylor from 2009-2012. As a starting pitcher, Demarest earned the Albuquerque-Metro wins leader award in 2011 with a 9-0 record. He finished his high school career with a 23-8 record and was the winning pitcher in the Timberwolves’ 2012 state championship victory over Santa Rosa—the first state title in an NMAA-sanctioned sport in school history.
Demarest pitched at the collegiate level for New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas for two years before transferring to the University of the Southwest in Hobbs, where he pitched for the Mustangs the final two years of his college career.
This is Demarest’s first high school varsity head coach position. He was East Mountain’s assistant varsity baseball coach under Naylor and the school’s JV coach for one season in 2018. He was Moriarty High School’s JV baseball coach last spring before the season was cut short due to Covid-19.
“I’m really excited to get this opportunity as a first-time head coach and it makes it even more special that it’s the high school I played for and graduated from,” Demarest said.
Demarest takes over the T’Wolves’ baseball program that has made the state tournament seven out of the last eight years since he graduated. East Mountain had a 21-8 overall record last year, winning its district and earning a No. 2 ranking in the Class 3A state playoffs.
Caton graduated from East Mountain in 2007. He was assistant track coach last season under longtime running coach Phil Keller, who left the school in June.
The other East Mountain coaching hires are Sam Slaven, who replaces Naylor as the new cross country coach, and Dan Summers, who replaces Robbie Dolce as the new girls varsity basketball coach. Summers was the girls basketball assistant coach last year.
Editor’s note: Ray Demarest is the son of The Independent’s sports editor, Ger Demarest.
Ger has been writing and shooting photos of high school sports for The Independent for 15 years. His dedication to youth athletics goes beyond sports reporting. He is past president of East Mountain Little League and works as a baseball umpire. He lives in Edgewood with his family.