With the start of Districts peeking around the corner and the first tournament looming overhead, the boys baseball team practice for long hours to sharpen their skills and improve as a team before their first game on Tuesday, Feb. 27.
“We’ve been preparing for the season to start for the past three months,” senior Austin Vaughan said. “We’ve been doing a lot of infield and outfield work, base running, and other things to prepare us for the season.”
Being on the team takes a lot of dedication in order to fit enough practice hours into the week.
“Everyday, sometimes morning, but [we practice] everyday after school for sure,” junior Jace Jung said.
Since missing playoffs last year, for the first time in four years, the team focused on improving specific skills in order to ensure a spot.
“In the past years we’ve never had set captains and this year we do,” senior Ethan Gottschalk said. “The other captains and I have really stepped up to make the team tighter as a unit.”
While leadership roles strongly affect a team’s performance, so do the little things such as the in betweens and understanding of the game.
“We have changed the way we go to the field, the way we leave the field, and what we do on the field,” head baseball Coach Alfieri said. “If you understand the intricacies of what you’re doing then you’re going to own it more, and when you own something you’re going to put more into what you do.”
With the changes that were made the team has proven to be more efficient and was able to start the season strong.
“We usually start out pretty slow,” Vaughan said. “This year we had a really good start early on. Everyone is making good throws and catching the ball. This season everything is on point.”
The team has learned from past mistakes and plans on fixing them this year for a strong, successful season.
“Our biggest opponent as a team would be ourselves,” senior Gunnar Jimentel said. “Last year we got too cocky and comfortable and struggled afterwards.”
The team goes to practice everyday with determination and puts everything into the game.
“Everybody has a bunch of heart, everybody plays with their heart, no plays are left unfinished,” Vaughan said. “Everybody leaves everything on the field and walks out of practice with no gas in their tank.”
All photos by Jessica Harden