By Jake Schroer
Crow River News Sports
Believe it or not, the baseball season is only a short time away. The STMA baseball team began practice over a week ago for the 2014 season. This season, the goal is simple; win the conference and section and get to the state tournament. And if STMA can get there, the goal is to be state champions.
Head coach Paul Schumm has been pleased by what he has seen in practice so far this season. He singled out Tyler Berg and Jordan Joseph as two of his key players.
“They’re leaders by nature. Their work ethic is second to none, and they kind of lead by example.”
Schumm said that the team has experienced a drought when it comes to making the state tournament. This year’s team considers it a realistic goal.
“Just need a few of the younger guys to step up and do what is expected of them so that we can come out and make a good run during the section playoffs.”
During his 19 year tenure as head coach of the Knights, Schumm has seen a lot, including last year’s bizarre winter that saw a snowstorm on the first day of May followed by triple digit temperatures two weeks later.
Schumm hopes the weather improves pretty soon, otherwise practices might be limited to the gym for weeks on end; a fate he said was tough on everyone.
“It gets old being inside, so we’re hoping the weather turns real quick and hoping within the next couple weeks we can start to get outside and get some practices in.”
Schumm guaranteed the field would not be ready for STMA’s scheduled season opener on April 3.
“It’s supposed to be on our field, and our field won’t be ready next week.”
One of the biggest things about the upcoming season, he said, is that the team will have a lot of depth. He said depth will really help the team push each other to become better players. For the fans, he said to come out to the games at Middle School West, and that the team will be better than last year.
Schumm said his favorite part about coaching is watching how much the younger kids grow and mature when they come up from JV to play varsity. Not only athletically, he said, but also socially and physically.
“I really get enjoyment out of seeing kids improve from year to year.”
Coach Schumm was not sure when the Knights would open the season. STMA’s next game after April 3 is tentatively scheduled for April 8 against the Rogers Royals.