A date that many teams around the state have been anticipating for 9 months. It signifies the first day that high school teams around the state of South Carolina can officially hold their first practice and tryouts for the 2014 baseball season. Few teams have been more anxious to begin than Landrum Baseball. Waiting since April 20th 2013, the Cardinals began the season with the first day of tryouts led by their new head coach Daniel Little.
The Cardinals spent most of their first day performing evaluations of their players to determine how each player could contribute to the program. These evaluations included the 60 yard dash, Home to First time, Outfield, Infield, and Catcher drills that measured arms and ranges at their respective positions.
After a very intense day Coach Little was pleased with what he saw. “We’re very excited to be out here for the first day of practice/tryout and glad the weather cooperated.” said Coach Little. The first order of business for the Cardinals will be to set their Rosters for both Varsity and JV. “We got about 34 kids out here ranging from grades 9-12 and we are looking to make cuts this week which is always a tough week.”
Besides just talent, Coach Little looks for very specific attributes in his players. “The main thing I’m looking for is gritty toughness. I want a kid who is really gonna get after it and play hard when the chips are down. That kid you can look to in a tough situation when the game is on the line.”
Normally with the first scrimmage just days from the first Practice, coaches would be pressed to try and cram everything they desired in such a tight window. However this year coaches have been able to take advantage of new practice regulations from the South Carolina High School League that allowed Baseball programs to enjoy more practice time throughout the year. Little believes that this has been a huge advantage for Landrum. “The open practices earlier really allowed us to focus and work with the kids on their fundamentals and do some much needed construction on our facilities. Now we can begin once tryouts are over to put in our coverages and offensive and defensive systems.”
With Landrum Baseball now just days from beginning competition, Coach Little says his team is eager to begin the season ahead. “They’re really excited and getting after it. You can tell there are some nerves especially with the younger kids but they’re all giving extremely hard effort and you couldn’t ask for anymore effort than they are giving right now.
For photos from the first practice check out the album over on our Facebook page: First Practice Photos on Facebook