Reference is made to my last coach’s messages dated 12.1 and 12.28 (2019) which detailed our research and findings related to our SB trip this coming March along with anticipated cost per player. Please review those messages for trip details, our stated requirements and our collective efforts to keep costs to a minimum.
This is our 1st coach’s message of the New Year and traditionally we summarize a few issues in advance of the approaching spring season.
Player apparel and gear needs have been listed and detailed as required and optional. Online stores where set-up and orders should have been received by now. Navy and white hats are also in and we have made them available to players. They are sized, hence the urgency for players to get their hat(s) NTL this week since ordering additional hats will take 6 weeks. Player cost per hat is $25.00 payable to the Evergreen Baseball Boosters or EBB. Players have been instructed to inspect their gear so that they conform to new NFHS, CHSAA and/or District rules. New NOCSAE certifications will be enforced by umpires prior to play. Players were also asked to come in and get their batting helmets decaled. As coaches, we have moved on to coaching now that most of the above has been addressed.
Authentic Cougar Baseball hats, either the navy or new white hats, are also available for parent and friends of Cougar Baseball purchase. Just contact a member of our EBB. We will also make them available at our annual EBB meeting on 1.30 and at the player, parent potluck on 3.5.
The 2020 Varsity and JV will have two game tops (Home and Away). Players are required to have grey pants and a pair of white with navy pinstripe pants. New this year, we are allowing long or knicker style pants. If a player elects to wear knickers we have a supply of navy (over the knee) baseball socks with a gold cougar paw on the back calf and/or our Cougar stirrups with white “sanies.” Players can have both long and knicker style and alternate too.
Pre-season workouts are voluntary and since the number of players that initially came in and expressed interest in working out exceeded 40, we published then updated a schedule. This schedule broke players down into one of 4 groups (A-D), assigned a coach POC to each group. Groups were assigned specific days of the week and times in our indoor cages and separate times when our EHS Weight Room was available to the baseball program. Fridays are designated as cardio days and are open to all groups/interested players. Coaches also explained that we are using the MaxPreps Team app for text messaging and that interested players where to talk with their group’s assigned coach and get connected to that free text service. A current copy of the schedule with groupings is posted in our cages and uploaded to our website ehscougarbaseball.com. The focus of our voluntary workouts is conditioning and skill refinement in an effort to minimize the risk from injury. Baseball is a different kind of sport and certain activities such as throwing and hitting require a level of conditioning prior to the start of our season on 3.2.2020.
We asked that players let their group’s assigned coach know if they could not make a voluntary workout since we also have a waiting list of players that we would like to work with if a slot opens up. This can be easily done via a text message and is an important courtesy. This is improving but still not happening. We also stress to players and parents the importance of reading program text messages and messages posted to our website since communication is always a challenge. Another requirement was that interested players complete a Player Information Sheet or PIS and if they already have one filled-out to update it prior to the start of the spring season. The PIS form can also be found on our website.
Here are a few upcoming important dates:
February 3, 2020 (closes February 24): Jeffco spring sports registration opens. This is mandatory and very important. Can be done online.
February 22, 23, 9 and March 1, 2020: Cougar Field and the Upper Field Prep days (weather permitting). Need volunteers please.
March 2-3, 2020: Spring 2020 Baseball Try-outs.
March 4, 2020: Rosters set for Spring V, JV and identified “swing players”, uniforms handed out. Players not rosters to V/JV will be referred to C-Team try-outs scheduled for 3/7-8.
March 5, 2020: Team/Program-wide player Pot-Luck dinner 6PM EHS Cafeteria. Parents invited. Will have pre SB trip parent meeting. We are looking for parent help with meal and beverage preparation.
March 7, 2020: 1st Scrimmage at Fredrick H.S. Varsity plays at 10AM followed by JV. NO UNIFORM TOPS, WEAR COUGAR BASEBALL BRANDED PRACTICE TEE SHIRT WITH LONG SLEEVES UNDER IT.
March 9, 2020: EHS Team Photos 3PM. VARSITY TO WEAR PINSTRIPE PANTS WITH NEW TOPS AND WHITE HATS.
March 12, 2020: 1st Game HOME against Roaring Fork H.S. Varsity 4PM. NO JV game.
March 22, 2020: 6AM load, for 6:30AM chartered bus departure for AZ Spring Break trip (V and JV). Return March 28th ETA 12N.
April 4, 2020: 1st LEAGUE GAME at EHS against LHS V @12N; JV @ 12:30PM.
May 9, 2020: LEAGUE GAME at EHS against SLHS 12N is SENIOR DAY. Seniors will be introduced, fathers get to throw a baseball to their son off the mound and mothers receive flowers. Family photo opportunities are also included in the planning.
4A Regionals are 5/23; Districts are 5/29-30; and State Championship play is scheduled for 6/5-6.
As we move closer to the start of our spring season I would like to remind players and parents of few items.
For players, one of our asks this year, is for players to think “how can I be a better teammate”, that you are prepared, that once you walk onto the field that you compete at the highest level that you can whether it be at practice or in a game. Winning isn’t everything but being prepared and focused on the task(s) at hand are important. I also ask that players be accountable. Academic success is another goal and I will be closely monitoring grades. I have started a program where we will track, post and be proud of our team GPA. Again, it’s about the team. As a coach I spend a significant amount of time interacting with college coaches and recruiters. One recruiter contacted me recently and asked about a couple of our student-athletes that I have been promoting. He asked about grades, work ethic, and family and asked about team chemistry since he saw a player at a showcase and he wasn’t wearing his H.S. baseball hat. We are stronger together as team and this spring its work hard, focus on one game at a time and as a team.
For parents, we could not have the success that we have experienced without the support from parents. For that, I thank you. Having said that, with high school sports volunteerism is critical. Our Booster Club does an outstanding job and will be looking for additional help. Please consider helping out. Spring sports are challenging in many ways. We have to deal with unique weather related issues, we prep and maintain our field, dugouts, bullpens, and we have multiple teams and are always adjusting schedules based on weather, facility availability and conditions. During HOME games we really need help with running our new scoreboard, staffing concessions and with bird dogging foul balls. Baseball costs have increased. We also have a number of pre-season projects ongoing and need help completing these: new scoreboard installation (POC is Todd Schiro); complete the renovation of our concession and media stand (POC is Scott Sarkisian); Cougar Field pre-season field prep (POC is John Bellatti or Coach John Lipka). Our first HOME game is just around the corner on 3/12 then we have 10 HOME games before 4/16!!
A few special projects that we have talked about which would further enhance our program are also open for volunteer project managers:
- Lettering on the back of our HOME dugout “Home of Cougar Baseball.” Looking for a local artist?
- Light carpentry work on the storage shed outside and next to our HOME dugout. The door needs some repair work and some shelving installed inside so that player bags can be placed in there before school.
- Research availability of aluminum bullpen benches with backs on them for both bullpens and in front of our HOME dugout. Looking at finding some surplus benches from RTD, local government agencies?
- Research availability of a video camera with recorder to capture Cougar pitchers and hitters during games for self-analysis and for performance to be uploaded and shared with college recruiters. Looking at reaching out to the Colorado Rockies’ Video Analytics Group for some input.
- A mentor for students interested in broadcasting and sport statistical collection and analysis.
- A coordinator for researching and generating an EHS Baseball Program Media Guide. There are companies that do this and other H.S. programs have engaged them with success.
Again, thank you all and I hope that this update helps answer some of your questions.