Baseball prepares in the off-season


Joey Heck and Dominic Lount

Time to dust off those bats, it’s time to play ball! The season may be months away, but as soon as winter comes around, the training and preparation for the upcoming baseball season begins.

With many different workouts and baseball drills, the coaches do their best to get the student athletes ready for tryouts in the spring.  The off-season programs and weight training classes allow students to get stronger and work on certain skill areas they need improvement in. Students will log their lifts throughout the week, and sign up for fielding, hitting, or pitching clinics on different days.

“I’ll be participating in the Saturday hitting and pitcher readiness,” sophomore Sebastian Shaman said. “I plan on improving accuracy [and] command over the fastball and curve ball. I also want to work on hitting.”

Players have access to various ways of getting ready for the season, but one of the most successful programs is the 6th hour conditioning class, which is open to all athletes that go to Utica High.

“6th hour conditioning,” senior Garret Joachim said, “helps keep me in shape for the upcoming season.”

Most player set their own goals in the off season so they have something to focus on. Whether it be a team goal or a personal goal, the players often say that they work with a purpose so they can accomplish their goals.

“I want to hit at least .300,” junior Evan Remy said. “Also, I want to play shortstop everyday.”

The coaches make the players track their progress of lifts and their academics. Players with lower grades won’t be granted the same privileges that players with better grades have.

“I think it’s helpful,” senior Andrew Jewell said, “but the grades we have now won’t be the grades we have during the season because during the season, we will be motivated to get good grades so we can stay on the team.”

Utica’s off-season baseball program has been very successful in past years and according to team members and coaches, plans to keep it going this year.