Spring athletes prepare for successful 2020 campaigns

Boys+baseball+practices+throwing+as+they+prepare+for+their+upcoming+spring+season.+The+team+looks+to+continue+their+success+from+last+season.

Photo by Jack Linde

Boys baseball practices throwing as they prepare for their upcoming spring season. The team looks to continue their success from last season.

The offseason: the most boring time of year for a fan, but most important for a player. It is the time of year when players work on their craft to improve for the upcoming season, and it is currently in full effect at WJ.

Baseball tryouts are less than two months away and the team is doing all they can do to prepare. The team has two workouts each week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, where they do conditioning on the field for 45 minutes and lift in the weight room for 45 minutes. On the field, they run suicides, hills, poles and do activities on the agility ladder to improve footwork, explosiveness and speed.

While in the weight room, players have free rein, but coach Steve Sutherland ensures the players are working hard.

“We wanna compete with the other schools because we know they are working and if we’re not, that puts us a step behind when the season starts,” Sutherland said.

Players also believe the workouts are important to be prepared for the season.

“[I] want to be over-prepared rather than under,” junior first baseman Carl Sansbury said.

The football team has also started their offseason workouts – nine months prior to their upcoming season. The team wants to make sure they are ready to build off of the best season in school history.

“Football is a sport where strength and conditioning is a major factor to success. We don’t want to start working on Aug. 12. I firmly believe that to build a successful program you have to be working 365 days a year,” varsity football coach Larry Hurd Jr. said.

Girls’ lacrosse is also preparing for their upcoming season with a winter league. The league is designed to help the girls work on their skills and connect with each other.

“Winter league will prepare players by getting them into a high level of play early so we can hit the ground running when the season comes around,” head coach Colleen Klipstein said.

Players also enjoy playing in winter league as they find it a great way to make friends and condition.

“I think me playing in winter league gives me the opportunity to meet all the girls that are already in the program. It will also get me in better shape, as the conditioning from it all will be helpful during tryouts. As for the team, it will help us to start out great rather than rusty at the beginning of the season,” freshman Ellie Hilton said.

Baseball and girls’ lacrosse are looking to have successful seasons this spring while football looks for back-to-back playoff appearances next fall.

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