As the first game of the spring season approaches, the West Ranch High School freshmen baseball team is preparing vigorously.
The Freshmen Ranchers hold two- or three-hour practices every week day, with preseason games over the weekend. These practices and games allow the team to enhance playing skills and adapt to the rigors of playing regularly.
The preparation for Spring, however, has not been easy because of several obstacles. The team kicked off the preseason in October with six straight losses, making many mistakes in these first games. So, the players have had to learn to work together.
To practice fielding, the team works on catching ground balls and fly balls. To practice batting, the team visits cages multiple times a week. Finally, to improve baserunning skills, players perform a routine conditioning drill at the end of every practice.
Freshman player AJ Bramson told JSR, “Our team constantly focuses on ways to better ourselves individually and as a collective group. We understand the importance of the year in front of us, and this motivates us to constantly improve.”
After the rough start, the team now holds a preseason record of 8-12. The Freshmen Ranchers’ strongest aspects include its offensive lineup and a versatile rotation of pitchers. Now that team chemistry is greatly improving, parents, students, and coaches are hopeful for a successful season.
Chris Caldwell, the team’s head coach, told JSR, “I expect nothing but great things because our team is well-rounded with good pitchers and hitters. We also have a sense of camaraderie that makes us very fun to watch.”
The players cannot wait for the busy season to begin.
Isaiah Cuahutle, a player, commented, “We will fight together to win the league and have fun playing the game we love.”
As the first league game against Valencia High School on March 18 approaches, the West Ranch High School freshmen baseball players will practice and improve even more to be fully prepared.