Boys baseball capitalizes on Arizona heat

Team travels to practice and have fun

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Boys baseball capitalizes on Arizona heat

Used with permission by Brian Kelly

Used with permission by Brian Kelly

Used with permission by Brian Kelly

Used with permission by Brian Kelly

David Bryant

After spending part of spring break with the boys’ baseball team in Arizona focusing on preparing for the first games of the season, sophomore Alex Riley said the trip helped him improve overall and adjust to playing at a Varsity level.

“We practiced everything in Arizona, from hitting to fielding to baserunning,” Riley said. “It helped me get used to high-level baseball and just seeing how the varsity team plays.”

Head coach Brian Kelly said taking some of the team to Arizona helped them get that head start to the season.

“With Minnesota high school baseball, you are often pushed back because of the weather until early to mid-April, and this season it’s going to be way later than that,” Kelly said. “This is my third year coaching and one thing important to me was to bring back the spring trip I did when I was in highschool.”

Junior Will Hannon said one advantage of the Arizona weather is it allows the team to play outside and simulate game situations.

“I really liked just being able to get outside and have live games and being able to pitch to an actual batter opposed to i

ndoors where I can’t,” Hannon said.

Kelly said playing scrimmages helped him see where the team is at and what needs to be improved.

“We played three scrimmages against Bloomington Kennedy, Burnsville and River Falls. Doing those scrimmages was really valuable to have for our team to find coachable and teachable moments,” Kelly said.

Hannon said one fun thing they did in Arizona besides baseball was the annual event of mini activites called the ‘Spring Olympics.’

“We had the spring break olympics which is fun random things like basketball, mini golf and an escape room. Also just down time to be in the pool or relax in our hotel rooms,” Hannon said.

Kelly said the escape room was his favorite to watch to see the players’ hard-working mindsets, drive to win and ability work as a team.

“Off-field, I liked seeing the escape room and seeing the boys work together and just seeing how competitive they are and how much enjoyment they get out of competition and working together,” Kelly said.

Kelly said events like these help players grow and get ready to perform and reflect on how far they have come as athletes.

“You can practice until you are blue in the face, but it won’t mean anything unless it is shown in a game, those are the ones the kids will remember whether they can fix or look back on,” Kelly said 

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