Owls Baseball Start Open Facilities

Brandon Terrell, Sports Editor

As of Monday August 28th, the Owls Baseball team was back on the field again. Players show up to the optional open facilities that are being held two days a week, every Monday and Wednesday. It is an open facility, because high school baseball teams aren’t allowed to hold full practices yet. There are only a limited amount of the things the coach can actually do during this off season time. Workouts are led by players and with fall sport athletes not allowed to go, there is still a pretty good turnout for the baseball team. Approximately 20-25 players show up each day.

Coach Richey explains,”We have divided the workouts into 3 different periods.  The first period is 7 stations of plyometrics/athletic enhancement.  The second period is our throwing program.  And the final period is inter-squads.” A very important aspect to the workout is arm stretching. Using J-bands, players stretch their throwing arm for 3-5 minutes at each practice. 

Plyometric workouts improve player speed and power. Speed is important in any sport and is something all sports work on. Same thing with power. Being fast is a great trait to have in the game of baseball, running 90 feet from home to first base. The team devotes a minimum  of 7 minutes every practice for that reason.  

The second period is the throwing program, and that is pretty much just playing a serious game of catch.  Getting warmed up, and making sure players’ throwing arm is ready for the day’s practice is key. Junior Hunter Ahlbrand said, “The throwing program is important to me because it builds up arm strength and makes me throw harder.” Hunter is a left handed pitcher and plays first base.

A couple weeks into the off season, players will start using weighted balls. Richey said, “The weighted balls are great for building arm strength as well as recovery after throwing.” He continues, “It is very important to take care of the arm.”

Arm injuries in baseball can be the death of your baseball career. Many players have ended their season, or even career, due to arm injuries. 

      Closer to the end of open facility, the team does an inter-squad game. Picking teams and playing a fun competitive scrimmage game. Ahlbrand stated, “The scrimmage is my favorite part of the day.” The inter-squad has a person throwing pitches behind a screen net about halfway between home plate and the pitchers mound. This not only provides batting practice, but also fielding as part of the squad is playing the ball as if it was a real game. The Owls hope to work hard in the fall, and have it pay off in the Spring, when season starts.