The Wirt Tiger Baseball Team starts off the season working harder than ever. Returning head coach Zachary McCallister held practices at 6 a.m. the first week to get some workouts in. Coach McCallister also keeps the team on track by taking missing assignments very seriously: “It is very easy to fall behind. Especially with baseball we have a lot of games, 34 games a season so if you play 5-6 times a week it makes it really easy to fall behind if you’re not keeping up with your work.” The 2017 team has no returning seniors.
Senior, Nick Silva, who was out the previous year due to a shoulder injury, had this to say: “It feels great to be able to play baseball again, especially since it’s been so long since I’ve played. My most important personal goal would have to be to not mess up my shoulder but also to hit some dingers.” He wants the underclassmen to know, “Stay positive, don’t let things get to you and just work hard and don’t forget equipment on game day.”
With the only returning players being juniors, they will have a big role in this years’ team. Noah Garrett said, “This year is going good. It’s looking a lot better than last year already.” His team goals are to “have a positive winning record and win sectionals.”
Coming up from “Little League” to the “Big League” freshman Titus McIntyre stated, “Baseball is great. I’ve learned a lot. There was a big change. Now instead of playing with just middle schoolers, I play with freshmen, juniors, sophomores, and seniors.” McIntyre’s personal goal is to be “able to be first string.” His team goals include, “Win as a team, lose as a team. Don’t put others down when a mistake is made.”
Coach McCallister’s message to his team: “Keep up the hard work and it will pay off in the end. Love you guys.”
The start of a new season meant more dedication and hard work which paid off at their first game, defeating the Ritchie County Rebels 12-8. The team is determined to have a better record than last year’s.