Caution: Boys working |

Caution: Boys working

Baseball team puts in 'countless' hours for spring season

David Pressgrove

When Rich Sadvar was named the Moffat County baseball coach after the 2005 season, he said, he sat down with as many players as he could and talked about individual and team goals.

He talked about mental strength, team building and commitment.

Mental strength and team building will be determined when the 2006 season starts in March. But Sadvar said he’s already impressed with the team’s commitment.

“The time that most of the guys have put in is countless,” he said. “I’ve emphasized that every time they’re not working, somebody else is. But it would be hard to find someone who has worked as hard as them.”

With only one starter graduating from a team that was one run away from making the final state’s final eight, the Bulldogs had promise for 2006 as soon as 2005 season ended. Instead of taking solace in their strength, they went to work.

The first task was joining the American Legion summer team, which played more than 50 games. Then a group of the guys joined with players in Evergreen for a fall league. Now, a group of seven to nine guys has been meeting three days a week for open gym at the high school.

“We’ve had a good, consistent group,” said junior Brad Grinstead, who didn’t play football in order to play fall baseball. “Every time we work we get a little more confident in our ability.”

The open gym time consists of weights, running, throwing and hitting packed into three hours. Growth as a team is what matters, Sadvar said.

“Most important to the wintertime ultimately is them being together,” he said. “That and probably the fact that they’re keeping in touch with the sport year round.”

In a small school, where a majority of athletes participate in multiple sports, the team has nine to 10 players working out on a consistent basis.

“We’re building a quality program,” Grinstead said. “There has been a lot of commitment from all of us, and each time out, we’re a little more confident that will show in the spring.”

The Colorado High School Activities Association’s rules don’t allow Sadvar to run the open gym time as a practice. But he said he’s aware of what work players have put in this winter.

“The commitment they’ve put in is to improve every time out, not just hit the ball around every once in a while,” he said. “That’s a huge bonus.”

He said he’s also watchful that players aren’t putting in too much time.

“My only caution about the amount of time they’ve put in is the burnout factor,” he said.

“If I hear about that any I’ll suggest they take a day off.”

If Grinstead is any indication, it shouldn’t be a problem.

“We enjoy what we’re doing,” he said. “The only thing might be that we’ll have some cabin fever and be ready to be on the field soon.”

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