By Hank Wickley
Spring has arrived. The clocks have all changed, the snow is finally beginning to melt, and the fall sports are in the midst of spring ball.
Football, volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer are all undergoing their offseason tradition of spring ball. This time consists of practices, work in the weight room and scrimmages.
For football, this time of year is crucial.
“I think Spring ball is very important to get athletes fired up for the fall,” said head coach Jason Couch.
“It also allows for more interaction between players and coaches,” added Couch. “I have been very pleased with the effort our athletes have shown.”
Brenden Newvine (‘20), said that spring ball consists of “making the adjustments in terms of the schemes.”
Along with these adjustments, Newvine said, “also coming together as a team and trying to create a process to be our best everyday.”
“I think anytime you get a chance to come together on the field and work on fundamentals,” Newvine said, “it is going to do nothing but better you as a team.”
This time of development is sure to help the football team achieve its goals for next season, Newvine said.
As for volleyball, the plan is similar.
“Our Spring season consists of multiple individualized and/or position specific practices,” said Coach Alex Leja, “as well as a two hour team practice to finish out each day.”
“We wrap up our Spring season with a single day tournament and individual meetings,” said Leja.
Coach Leja said that in those individual meetings, the coaches and players watch film and prepare for next fall.
“Spring ball is extremely important for team development,” said Haley Novak (‘20), “there is always room for corrections and growth throughout the program in preparation for next fall.”
“It is a ton of hard work, but it is definitely worth it for matches to come,” said Novak.
Men’s soccer also has high expectations for its spring ball growth.
“We train about 3-4 days per week, and the sessions are based on three important factors we need to improve,” said head coach Josh Oakley.
Coach Oakley said that spring ball is “absolutely important.”
“Mostly because of the massive player pool we return for 2018,” said Oakley, “we only graduate two seniors, so 10 starters and a huge roster is still here.”
For the players, this spring is equally as valuable.
“We are hoping that each day out on the pitch we can take a step in the right direction,” said Garrison Mast (‘20).
“Simply put, this spring season is huge for our team,” said Mast.
For women’s soccer, the goal is to grow on the field and in the weight room.
“The team trains 15 sessions in a timespan of 5 weeks concluding with one game day which will be Sunday April 8 on campus,” said head coach Meghan Gorsuch.
“The girls are in the weight room with their strength and conditioning coach 3 times a week,” said Gorsuch, “working toward the complete package of becoming bigger, faster and stronger.”
Madi Ferry (‘19) said, “we are all excited to work with our new head coach and work on building team chemistry for the fall.”
“People can step up into new roles and try out new positions that are needed.” said Ferry.