Varsity baseball team overcomes inexperience to achieve progression


Varsity baseball coach Kevin Ford oversees senior pitcher Isaiah Bumgardner as he practices his hand-eye coordination while sharpening his catching abilities. This is a common way for players to warm up before a game or practice their throwing and catching skills. (Photo by Gayda Makki)

Gayda Makki, Staff Writer

The CHS varsity baseball team finished sixth in the district, among other teams like James Madison High School, Westfield High School, Oakton High School, South Lakes High School and Centreville High School. 

After a season in which seasons made up the majority of the team, the varsity baseball team this year is currently dominated by sophomores. With more inexperienced players, the team faces changes with style of play, overall agility and pace of the game. The new players have required further assistance adjusting to the new, competitive environment. 

“Because of the great deal of sophomores, we’ve been trying to get our players up to speed on what varsity baseball is all about,” varsity baseball coach Kevin Ford said. 

Although the majority of the team has not played in a varsity team, most began playing baseball at an early age. Whether it was a parents’ decision, one’s own choice or inspired by other friends, the baseball players all had some sort of background in playing ball that led them to joining the team.

“Ever since my parents signed me up for baseball at a young age, I really liked it and kept on playing it for another 11 years,” sophomore third baseman and pitcher Alex Caywood said. 

After many years of playing the sport, the players still find it difficult to stay focused. Like many sports, baseball has a mentally draining side, as the players face pressure to succeed in a game driven by constant challenges. 

“Our sport deals with a lot of failures, so part of what makes a good player is being able to move on after things go bad,” Ford said. 

The coaches aim to instill the values of practicing, playing competitively and executing plays efficiently into the game. If circumstances change during a game, players are taught to simply have faith in the play they are completing instead of being cautious.  

“The hardest challenge about baseball is that most of the time you’re going to fail, and you just have to learn to get over it and look past it,” sophomore outfielder Connor Morgan said. 

On March 15, the CHS baseball team started out their first game of the season with a loss against Hayfield High School, 6-1. This was closely followed by a win on March 17, 10-1, against Wakefield High School. On May 2, CHS played Centreville High School and lost 11-3. Their last couple of games ended with losses of 3-1 against Westfield High School and 2-0 against Oakton High School. The team’s season came to an end on May 12 with a record of 5-16 after losing their final district game, 7-6, to Oakton High School. 

“I’m not really concerned about overall wins; it’s about how we played because at the end of the year, most of the time nobody wants to play us, no matter what our record is,” Ford said. “Nobody wants to play us because of how well we play.”