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It’s a game of tradition

I write this column from the front seats of a yellow school bus.

We’re on our way back from our first baseball game of the season. I can hear some of our players behind me talking about getting our first victory. Others are playing games on their cell phones, talking to girls or sending tweets.

It’s my second year of coaching baseball at Creston High School.

My junior varsity team won 12-0 last night and the varsity came away with a 16-2 victory over the Corning Red Raiders. (Read more about the games on page 7A in today’s CNA).

I’m looking forward to this season. We feel like we are a program on the rise. We have a group of varsity players who have been around CHS head baseball coach Steve Birchard and know what is expected of them on and off the baseball field.

The thing I noticed almost automatically this season is we are a year stronger. Most of our student-athletes dedicated themselves to the weight room and it shows on the baseball field in the form of velocity on their throws and power at plate.

Also, I’m impressed with our younger players. Our future is bright. We have a lot of work to do still, but this eighth-grade class — you can tell — has spent several summers on the baseball diamond. Seven of them (eight-graders) started the JV game for me last night.

There is something that draws me to the game of baseball.

The game of baseball is about the ups and downs, about coming back from losses, staying humble through success, throwing a tight curve ball, finding shade, about which flavor of sunflower seed to purchase.

Baseball is about being a good teammate, keeping your composure, getting down the line, working the count, taking lots and lots of batting practice, about enjoying down time, long bus rides home, field work. It’s about the traditions.

That’s why I fell in love with the game. That’s why, 20-plus years later I still love the game today.

If you get the chance, come out and enjoy some baseball at our field this summer. We will be playing all home games at our diamond at Creston High School. Your first chance is this Thursday when we have our home opener against Nodaway Valley. Junior varsity starts at 5:30 p.m. and varsity will start around 7:15 p.m.

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