Prepared by: John F. Lipka and Evergreen Cougar Baseball Staff
I hope that everyone had a good Thanksgiving break. Here is an update as we end 2020 and get ready for 2021 play.
We are working with the District and preparing our pre-season work-out and conditioning plan. We have several CV-19 issues to address and best practices to follow. Ideally, we want to leverage our indoor facilities at EHS to include our cages/mounds, gyms, and weight room. Our Board is trying to get us access to the new gym at Wilmot Elementary too.
This pre-season, I envision rotating players in to limit numbers, better protect and improve efficiencies. A big emphasis will be placed on pitching (grip, pitch rotation, command, and control). Pitchers will work on their mechanics, conditioning and throwing at 60-85% on their changeups, movement pitches and fast balls. I have programmed our new Rapsodo Pitching 2.0 unit and am working on other technologies to allow for gauging player performance and assisting with development. I would like to kick this voluntarily program off during the second week of January 2021. We will also include in this pre-season, review of our player handbooks which include our strategies, plays and drills. These sessions may be by invitation only to help manage numbers and projections.
If players still have one of our Spring (school owned) game tops, please turn them in to Coach Farmwald. There have been multiple messages about this, and the school will be assessing a no-return of school property fee soon since replacement tops must be ordered.
This year like last year, we will be providing players, parents, and coaches with our link to our on-line store. This should happen very soon. We are working with Marucci and have broken done the items as required and optional. Many of our returning players already have a lot of these items, new to the program and those that need replacement items will find the items listed on this website, many of which are branded “Evergreen Cougar Baseball” and are priced at a reduced team rate. Please look at the following list and remember these items will be available via our on-line team specific Marucci website.
Player bag, Team or Pro style no wheels, branded “Evergreen Cougar Baseball”
BBCOR game and BP bats
2 replacement bat grips
Batting Gloves (2 pair minimum). Game, practice and in the cages/off the tees “work gloves”
2 practice tee shirts (black and white) branded
1 pair practice shorts branded
Navy OTK socks
All grey or grey with navy piping game pants (can be long or knicker)
White with navy pinstripes game pants (can be long or knicker)
Compression pants (shorts/sliders and long for colder months). Long compression pants either ¾ or long are also worn under practice shorts while on-field and in the cages.
Navy under the game jersey sleeves (compression or relaxed, ¾ or long)
Elbow/wrist or back of hand guard for protection while batting
Navy batting helmet with jaw guard
Home and Away game hats. If you do not have one, let a coach know your size these are 6-8 weeks out
BP jacket and/or hoodie
Polo or ¼ zip for road trips
Cleats and turf shoes (navy or black) preferably NB or Nike
Arm conditioning band
Wrist/hand/fingers protection for use while on the bases
Fielding gloves (position specific)
Catcher’s gear (chest protector and hockey style mask must be NOCSAE certified)
Player towel and individualized water bottle (COVID-19 best practice)
Casual baseball attire
Pine tar, rosin
Remember, these items will be available to order within the next week via out team on-line store through Marucci. Marucci has been working hard to help support us.
As of right now, Colorado 4A and 5A baseball coaches continue to meet. We have agreed to play in a Spring Training Season (non CHSAA) then in our CHSAA Spring season. The 2021 “Spring Training” season will run 3/1 through 4/24 and include practices, competitive games and tournaments. Our CHSAA season starts 4/26 with our first official practice; 4/29 first game, league and non-league games (last game 6/8); Regionals 6/12; District playoff games 1-11 6/18-19; games 12-15 6/25-26; followed by then State Championship. Our Spring Break this year is 3/29-4/2. I am canvassing and researching our options to maximize Spring Break conditioning and on-field practices in advance of CHSAA and League play. Risk from CV-19 will be another factor since what we do as a program has to be safe. As of right now, I am leaning towards practices and non CHSAA play in warmer weather like on the Western Slope or in Southern Colorado at a JUCO facility. I am leveraging my JUCO and college coach contacts to find the right mix of competitive play and access to their collegiate facilities.
It looks like this Spring we will have enough players to support at a minimum 3 teams: Varsity (18u), JV (16u) and Freshman. As with previous years, we balance and adhere to District, CHSAA rules and by-laws. This message has been long enough, and I do not want to bore you with all those considerations. We will start in early January with voluntary conditioning in a controlled environment then roll into our 2021 Spring Training (non CHSAA) season; Spring Break player development; then 2021 CHSAA season through the end of June with playoffs.
As with previous years, managing 3 teams with only one field and our weather can be a challenge. We started a few field improvement projects and are always in need of parent help. If you can help, please contact our Board. We could not do all that this program does without families helping us – paying back to the program where our student-athletes play and go to school. It is an investment in our community.
Jeff Allan is putting in our new 30’ foul poles down both foul lines and installing lights in our dugout and dugout storage shed. He could use some help.
Our on-field batting cage was deemed too dangerous to continue to use. We demolished it and need a team of parents to help us rebuild it – design a roof, to protect and hang the netting, re turf the concrete pad which is in good shape. If anyone knows a local contractor who might be interested in donating time and material, please pass that onto us.
Our field does not have a warning track in the outfield which is standard and a safety issue. We started the process of removing the turf 10’ from the outfield fence and now need to acquire and skid steer in lava rock.
I donated to our program an outdoor video camera with enclosure and mount for behind home plate. We need help installing it so that we can capture game video of our pitchers and hitters.
We have a fund-raising initiative under way. New outfield wind curtain branded with the name, logo of local businesses and/or families. If you know of any interested parties, please pass that on to our Board. On-field advertising for 3 years during Spring Summer and Fall games at Cougar Field.
We are looking for parents to help us manage and upgrade our website and communications. This will include working with 3 team communication coordinators. Each team will have a team communications coordinator with iPad. Game stats will be captured via GameChanger software and team specific text messaging services. We have a student who has come forward and expressed interest in being our stat, video analysis intern. This group will also handle game announcing, pre-game and music during games.
Thank you for considering helping us and Happy Holidays.