PLEASANT HILL -- Of all the things that Joe DeMers was able to accomplish with the College Park High baseball team this season, two were the most important to him.
Winning the Diablo Valley Athletic League championship and capturing the North Coast Section Division II crown.
"At the start of the season, we set our goals -- win league and win NCS. That was our motivation all year," DeMers said. "We came out every practice, and our coaches reminded us of that every day. To finally get it felt great."
Certainly there are a number of talented players around the East Bay, and College Park had several itself. But DeMers, with his performance in 2014, stood above the crowd.
The junior hit .371 with an .833 OPS, had 32 RBIs and scored 25 runs as the Falcons finished with a 27-3 record. As a pitcher, he finished with a 12-2 record and a 0.65 ERA.
Because of his dominance at the plate and on the mound, DeMers has been selected as Bay Area News Group's East Bay Baseball Player of the Year.
"He's composed. He doesn't let the moment get to him," College Park coach Andy Tarpley said. "He trusts his ability and doesn't try to do too much, and that's pretty rare for a young player."
With seven juniors already committed to Division I programs, including DeMers to Washington, College Park was thought to have one of the best teams in the Bay Area at the start of the year. But an early-season 4-2 loss to Concord, in which the Falcons committed seven errors and DeMers took the loss, served as a reminder to the team that it wasn't good enough just to show up.
DeMers took it to heart -- giving up just eight earned runs the rest of the way -- and winning his final 10 starts as his velocity increased and his cutter was effective. College Park as a team won 13 straight to end the season.
He was also at his best when it mattered the most. He went 2 for 4 with a run in a 4-3 win over Clayton Valley Charter that clinched the DVAL regular season title.
He was also a combined 4 for 6 with four runs and five RBIs in the semifinals and finals of the NCS playoffs, as the Falcons, and DeMers accomplished their biggest goals.
"We knew this was our year," DeMers said.