The Red Mountain Baseball team has been working out and practicing all year in order to make it to State. Although they only made it to region playoffs last season, that won’t stop them this year from making it to the top and taking home the prize at State. This season’s baseball team is off to a great start thanks to all of the returning varsity players and some of the newer recruits. The senior players are setting the bar high, especially considering that most of them are continuing their love of baseball and have been recruited to play in college.
“I was awarded a baseball scholarship,” senior and varsity player Tyler Rice said. “I’m going to be playing division one baseball in Texas.”
All of this would not be possible if it weren’t for Head Coach Pagel who has a long history with the sport.
“I’ve been a coach at Red Mountain for six years and the head coach at Westwood High for 12 previous years, so this is my 29th total year of coaching baseball,” Coach Pagel said. “I’ve basically grown up with it because my four brothers and I all played baseball and three of us went on to play college baseball. My dad was a coach and a science teacher, like me, so I followed in his footsteps.”
Although it may all seem easy, many of the players face struggles along the way, especially last year when it came to the final games, but it’s nothing the team cannot get through together to make it to regionals.
“Positive communication is the key to keeping my team motivated,” senior and varsity baseball player Randy Hutson said. “Generally speaking, motivation is not an issue for this team since these players have played together for years so they understand the game and what’s expected of them.”
Much of what happens on and off the field has to do with the team’s motivation and passion for the sport. Sometimes, the players like to join together and start games off with team rituals. Moments like these help to bond and bring together the team, even when things get rough.
“We have a good core leadership group and a lot of seniors who help us get through the season,” junior and varsity player Kai Murphy said. “They are good, and I think we have the most talent we have had in a while. It’s a long season, so we have to bring it daily. Our team is motivated and we know our goals, so we try to stay on them as we take every day seriously. We know it’s going to help us get to that last goal.”
The baseball team is eager to accomplish many great things with the help of their parents and their supporters. For more information about the baseball team, go to http://www.mpsaz.org/rmhs/athletics/programs/baseball/.
(Featured Photo by Ms. Saquella)