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First day of spring sports feels like winter
by Michael Lingberg
Feb 26, 2011 | 935 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs senior Kaytlin Ripa leads a Cougars throwing drill during the first day of softball tryouts.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs senior Kaytlin Ripa leads a Cougars throwing drill during the first day of softball tryouts.
Friday’s snowfall set an ominous tone for this weekend. Not because we all had to break out the shovels again, but because it put a damper on the first official day of spring sports Saturday.

Although the weather will make times tough for hopeful teams in the next couple of days, it won’t stop them from preparing for the season’s first games that are quickly approaching.

Sparks will be fielding a very experienced baseball team this year because there will be seven returning seniors from last year’s team.

“Of course we’re going to have to work inside for the time being, and it’s not the same,” said head baseball coach Greg Vasko. “But we have expectations this year. Our primary goal is to make the playoffs and then go on to the state tournament.”

The Spanish Springs softball team will only see four seniors returning this year. That means that there are plenty of spots to fill. Heading into Saturday’s tryouts, SSHS softball coach Jeff Davidson was expecting a little more than 40 girls to show up to make a spot on one of the two teams. But with the recent snowstorms, the tryouts will be held indoors.

“We’ve been having open gym since the middle of January,” said Davidson. “So even though we would love to be outside to evaluate, we won’t have any huge problems.”

Some of the evaluations administered will include timed sprints, a test of how strong catchers and pitchers’ arms are, hitting drills, and also be a live scrimmage to see how players hold up in actual game situations.

“There’s going to be around 11 pitchers and nine catchers coming out,” said Davidson. “There will be lots to choose from.”

The Spanish Springs softball tryouts will began Saturday morning and will continue on Monday.

For Reed’s first-year head baseball coach Ray Charles, his challenge will to just try to organize the many students expected to come out.

“We’re projecting around 70 kids will come out and be excited about baseball,” Charles said. “I’m just focused on picking a good team.”

The Raiders will bring back six seniors from last year and they, like most other sporting teams, will be counted on for their leadership.

Charles believes moving indoors is fine for evaluating non-baseball traits of a student such as conditioning tests.

Once they have to move on to baseball drills, it will get tough.

“You can’t get a true read on the kids when indoors,” Charles said. “It’s tough to work drills where fly balls and grounders are involved.”

Reed held its tryouts at Bret’s Baseball & Softball Academy Saturday at 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
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