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Q/A with baseball coach Jeremy Crouch
March 3, 2022
The Rider Raider baseball team started off their season with a comeback win against Iowa Park on Monday with a 5-4 rally. After the cancellation of their tournament due to last week’s inclement weather, the team has high hopes for today’s upcoming tournament.
The Rider Chronicle sat down with coach Jeremy Crouch to discuss his expectations and key standout players this season.
Q: What are your expectations going into this season?
A: Our expectation every year is to maximize our potential as a team and as individuals.
Q: Following your first game, how have your expectations changed?
A: In baseball, one game doesn’t determine how the rest of the year will be. We won, but we didn’t play well as a group. We had some good moments but we need to perform better as a team. We have to continue to get better every day and cut it loose in the games. We don’t want to be afraid of crashing and burning, and I think we played a little tight the other night.
Q: Will you be doing anything different from last season?
A: No, we have a system here that has been established long before I got here. We believe in it and we will continue to use it. We will have a lot of depth this year so trying to find roles for players is something we want to utilize more than we have in the past. Those roles have to be earned but I think we have guys that are good enough to fill those roles.
Q: How has the weather affected your schedule?
A: Weather always affects our schedule. It wouldn’t be a complete baseball season without ice, snow, monsoons (lol)! Obviously, we would like everything to be perfect but it won’t be. It’s early spring in Texas, and we get every type of weather. We lost a tournament, but we picked up a game and will try to pick some more up throughout the season.
Q: Who are your key returning players?
A: We have seven returning starters and a lot of talented players that will push for playing time. Reese Frantom, Phoenix Wilburn, Justin Marsh, RJ Hernandez, Tobias Martin, Devin Cox, Braeden Arias and Ethan Saenz all started for us at one point last year.
Q: Who are some newcomers that you expect to make an impact on the team this season?
A: Our junior class is full of really good players. I expect all of them to push for playing time this season. Alex Wilburn and Owen Hooper are two sophomores who will push for innings and maybe a few other sophomores before the season is over.
Q: Do you think your team dynamic will be different without some of last year’s players?
A: Every year the team has a different personality. One of the cool things about coaching is that we get to see the evolution of players and teams from year to year. The team dynamic is always changing and the leaders of the team set the tone. Hopefully, it’s a good one.
Q: What are your biggest obstacles this season?
A: In this game and really all sports, the biggest obstacle to the team and individual success is the player himself. Can the player get out of his own way and perform for the team. Selfishness, fear of failure, fear of success are just some of the things that hinder athletic performance. Competitive athletics teaches players how to handle these things and hopefully gets them ready to compete in life after high school.