Photo Courtesy of Claire Santaniello
Update on the Oak Park baseball team's status
March 29, 2018
“This team has great chemistry, better than any team in my four years in OP baseball,” senior and varsity co-captain Jonah Scott wrote to the Talon. And, if their current record is any measure, the chemistry is paying off.
Varsity won their opening tournament, which was the first time an Oak Park baseball team has done so.
“There are a lot of seniors who really want to make some noise in our last high school season and we have some talented underclassmen,” Scott wrote.
All three of the baseball teams are looking for success and are using different techniques to help them win their games.
“I think the biggest issue last year was trust, effort, and concentration,” senior and varsity player Jake Samuels wrote to the Talon. “I believe that we have focused on those traits and have that on lock.”
Currently, the frosh-soph team is 3-0, the junior varsity team is 3-1 and the varsity team is 5-1. According to sophomore and junior varsity player Brett Christensen, the practices are focused in order to improve the team’s ability but also loose to make sure the team has fun and is relaxed and confident during games.
“We’ve been playing well in games due to the level of competition in practice and are very relaxed [during] games because we’ve been relaxed at practice,” Christensen wrote to the Talon.
The teams are off to one of their best starts, according to head coach David Kinberg. They have practiced nearly every day to prepare for games.
“I think these guys have worked really hard they’re dedicated to each other and I think that’s been reflected in the results during games,” Kinberg said.
This program has been growing over the years, and the players are becoming more and more committed, according to Kinberg.
“I think this is really the first time that the entire program is really turning a corner and seeing success. And, the efforts that have been put in for the last four years on all three levels are really beginning to show up now with a tremendous amount of cohesiveness,” freshman coach Jeff Appell said.
In addition to being undefeated, these scores are breaking Oak Park records for the frosh-soph team.
“We’ve broken a record for most wins in a row to start the season of the the [frosh-soph] team at Oak Park,” freshman and frosh-soph player Jack Fisher said. “Overall I’d says the future is looking bright for us and we have a lot more work to do.”
During practices, the teams work together to improve their skill and collaboration, according to Appell.
“I feel the harder you work in practice the better your results are going to be in games and the more serious you take practices the results are going to show,” Appell said.
Currently, the teams are playing their league games, and many of the games played so far have been preseason.
“So far [the games are] a little better than last year, as far as wins go,” junior varsity coach Eric Pryor said. “Overall we’re playing more consistent, which helps. But just like in previous years, we play in a tough league. So, sometime our early success, playing against teams that aren’t as good as our league competition, makes our record look good. But, we really find out how good we are once we get to league.”
According to Samuels, new team dynamics and constant practices are factors in their success.
“We practice every day and I am very proud of our results. This team has a chemistry that I have never seen before,” Samuels wrote. “We are just a bunch of goons playing ball.”