By Heather Campbell
Monday, February 6th, marked the start of Baseball’s third season ever at SLA — with a team that is hoping to return to the playoffs come May.
The team has big plans, but it hasn’t always been that way.
“The first year, we lost all our first eight games…We got close a handful of times and then we thought we were going to get one and then we didn’t.” Coach Herman recalls.
“We got to this moment when it was, do you want to play baseball? do you want to be a team? and if you wanna be a team, you gotta stop playing for yourselves.”
After multiple losses, the baseball players managed to pull themselves together as a team to end the season as a 4-8 team.
At the start of the second season, the baseball team still had yet to gain the full confidence and expectation of the school.
However, “We started the season out really strong and then all of a sudden everyone started taking notice of us,” Coach Herman commented.
The Rockets have come a long way since their first season. This year’s goal for Coach Herman and the baseball team is to win and move up and out of D division.
The focus of spring training is to prepare the players with stretching, yoga, and conditioning while promoting injury prevention, as well as developing the players skills as a team.
“Right now it’s more about fundamentals of how you use your body,” explained Baseball coach Douglas Herman.
By their first game, the baseball team is aiming to be the strongest, fastest, and best team on the field.
“What we do is we run up and down the Art Museum steps a bunch of times. We do a bunch of running workouts and then we work pretty intensely on hitting and catching and fielding.” Junior and third baseman, Abe Musselman commented.
The loss of some key players is a concern for the team.
“We lost a lot of our senior players” Coach Herman admitted. “We lost our starting catcher, so we need to replace that.”
However with the many of the returning players and new freshman, Coach Herman stated there isn’t a single position that is guaranteed. Each player will have the opportunity to step up and show their skills.
“Any negative is an opportunity for another player to step up and to show us what they have.” warned Coach Herman.
The team will have a full month of playing and training together before their first game on March 23rd.
“The reason that we won last year and the reason that we are going to win again this year is because we’ve become a family and play as such.” commented Coach Herman.
“We still have a lot of the really good players from last year and the freshman are looking pretty good.” acknowledged Musselman, “I think we are going to do great this year.”
This year the team will be actively fundraising to raise the funds to pay for equipment. They will be selling Rocket bracelets, and are hoping to be able to sell them all in order to buy new baseball bats.
This year, they also lucked out with a donation of about 40 cleats by Phillies First Baseman Ryan Howard, who made a city-wide donation to baseball programs.