Athens spring sports gets an early start with preseason workouts

Jaden Tremelling, Staff Writer

In order to be ready for the spring season, most spring sports begin workouts for their team in the fall. These workouts are meant to build team chemistry and to show new players the ropes. The Athens Drive men’s lacrosse team started workouts August 21, before the start of school. The women’s lacrosse team and baseball team have also already started workouts.

The men’s lacrosse team practices twice a week, once on Tuesday and once on Saturday, to practice stick skills such as shooting and dodging. On Saturday they practice team skills such as clearing the ball out of their half and defensive skills to stop the other team from scoring. They also participate in a fall ball league, where they play games against other high schools at Middle Creek High School, every Monday.

“The fall ball league really helps me get ready for the season because it gives me game experience before the season and helps me understand my teammates tendencies,” said Jack McCoy, sophomore.

In addition to the workouts and the fall league, the men’s lacrosse team also attends two tournaments. They are participating in a lacrosse tournament in Wilmington during October 20 and 21 and won one game with four losses. The other tournament they attend is in Myrtle Beach on November 3 and 4.

The tournaments help build team chemistry because the boys have more time to hang out with each other and relax.

“Team chemistry is vitally important to the success of any team. Many of the workouts push the players to perform at the levels that are close to their maximum capabilities. When teammates are all being pushed that way, they form bonds as they encourage each other to keep at it. That encouragement helps create chemistry as they are all working towards the singular goal of improvement. When things get difficult during the season or during games, the bond that was formed by working hard together in the off season is critical. That togetherness, that chemistry, is what allows teams to overcome adversity and achieve,” said Tom Wetherby, lacrosse coach.

The Athens Drive baseball team started workouts September 5, and has up to four workouts a week. During the workouts they warm up by playing catch, do batting practice and do “in and outs” where they catch pop flies in the infield and outfield.

“I personally like workouts because they help me get in shape for the season coming,” said Nicholas Rose, sophomore.

Baseball players also individually play for other leagues, such as the West Raleigh Baseball Association or the Cary Recreational League.

The women’s lacrosse team started workouts in September and have it two times a week. In their workouts they teach new players the rules of lacrosse and the basics such as passing and shooting. For returning athletes, they run 7-on-7 drills and 3-on-3 drills, where seven players play defense on seven players trying to score or three players play defense on three players trying to score. They also do shooting and defensive drills, as well as practicing plays they use in games.

Spring training for all sports helps student athletes prepare for the season, by getting them used to their teammates and coaches. For athletes new to their sport it can make them increase their understanding of the sport and its rules before the season starts, and improve their skills.

` “Last year I was new to lacrosse so if it wasn’t for the workouts, I probably wouldn’t have played as well as I did during the actual season,” said McCoy.