The smack of ball on leather, the ping of an aluminum bat blasting a ball into the outfield, a runner flying off first base to try to steal second and sliding in before the throw gets there. An outfielder gracefully runs down a long fly to make the catch at the warning track.
Yes, fans it is high school baseball season, believe it or not. Hard to believe it with 20 inches of snow on the ground, isn’t it?
We were die hard in baseball at Smith-Cotton when I was a student manager. Not very good, but die hard. We practiced at times on the Fairgrounds. I can remember one day we had three inches of snow during the school day and we still had practice that day. I can remember Coach (Ralph Skip) Schulz hitting ground balls through the snow. You could see the rivulets made by the ball as it cut through the snow.
We were all standing around with our hands in our pockets, wondering why we were there.
One day we had a doubleheader in St. Joseph against Lafayette We were not prepared, thinking we would not make the trip. Well, we did and froze our butts off. Temperature at the start of game #1, 21 degrees. It got colder and colder. I couldn’t wait to get back in Coach Schulz’s station wagon. All I had was my letter jacket.
From that point on, I was like a Boy Scout. I was always prepared for anything.
Congratulations to the Sacred Heart Gremlins for making it to the Class 2 quarterfinals for the first time since 1973. Coach Goodwin started three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior and went 25-5. The entire team returns next season. Congrats to the Cole Camp Bluebirds for winning the Stover and Warsaw tournaments as well as the district and making the Class 2 sectionals. Coach Tom Ward’s team won the Kaysinger Conference regular-season and tournament titles, beat Sacred Heart twice and made the state sectionals. I think they finished 25-4.
I picked Ward’s team as the team to beat this season, with that veteran, athletic club.