The excitement of a new season is upon us

The start of another spring season is upon us. Many high school teams around the area started their seasons on Thursday, while others start today.

Having been a coach for close to 20 years, the start of a new season was always like Christmas Eve for me. The anticipation of the first game always had me amped up. During the day of that first game, the hours leading up to game time always seemed to take forever.

While coaching Legion baseball, I would spend those hours planning out the starting lineup and batting order. I would make notes about ideas for substitution, and how deep I wanted to allow my pitcher to go in the game. I reflected on how we did against that particular opponent the year before. I would think about who that team had coming back, and how those players did against us last year.

I was always thinking about things for my teams, all hours of the day or night. I was obsessed.

It was crazy to think how much time I invested into my team away from the field or even the court when I was coaching basketball. These were volunteer positions as well, where I didn’t get paid for the hours I had spent.

The time that I spent away from my own family coaching other people’s kids — and later my own, thankfully — was personally rewarding. To know that I helped several kids get into college with scholarships, and now to see how successful they have become in life is payment enough.

Many of my former players are now my friends that I still keep in touch with. These guys live all over the country — Colorado, Washington, Maryland, Florida, Texas, etc. Some of them now have families of their own.

I never got into coaching for the pay. Heck, even now, with being an umpire and referee, it isn’t about the pay. I enjoy being around the kids. When I am a plate umpire, I am always talking to the catcher, helping them to understand the mechanics better — framing pitches, glove positioning, arm slot for throws and footwork for blocking balls in the dirt. That’s just from this past weekend.

Now that I have been all over the place with this, from Opening Day to my own coaching/ umpiring experiences, let me close it all up: Best of luck to all the teams as they embark on their 2018 seasons. Being just one person will not allow me to get to every game, but I will be out there.

Coaches, please be sure to shoot me a message with your results, or individual player highlights. Parents, if you have an interest in photography, share your photos on our Facebook ( CoastalPointSports) or Twitter (@CoPointSports) pages. And, as always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Reach out: We have had many area athletes that have gone on to continue their athletic careers at the college level. I want to know all about them! Please shoot me an email with your athlete’s name, school and sport so that I can put them on my weekly list to follow their careers. I will be collecting the information for a weekly “College Corner” piece to keep us all in the know about those former athletes. I will also be able to reach out to their college sports information offices to get notes and stats sent to me to help with this process. Thanks in advance!

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