Baseball team celebrates another season of superstition, awards and hot wings


Ashley Spillman

Finishing his swing, senior outfielder Jackson Barnhart gets a base hit to centerfield. Barnhart and his fellow “troops” defeated Ritenour High School on their senior night 18-2. “I like to be the trendsetter. I like to pick our guys up while we are down, and I like to just have fun with it,” Barnhart said. “I specifically remember this game I was having more fun playing than usual because it was my last senior night, and I was dancing and singing in the outfield, just doing my best to help us play better.”

From pregame rituals to weekly awards, superstitions have been a part of the baseball program. Each level of play has their own unique awards and rituals.

On the C-team, there are three different awards given out every week: a “Silver Stick” for the best batter, “Gold Glove” for the best fielder and “Charlie Hustle Award” for the player who hustles the most in practices and games.

“When I found out I won the Silver Slugger, I was very proud of myself. I was like, ‘wow I earned this.’ It was a relief to see my play was getting recognized by the coaches,” freshman pitcher and infielder Dawson Potter said. “The awards definitely help the team; it causes a competitive edge between us, and we work harder to beat out each other and win one of the awards.”

Potter was the first Silver Stick winner, along with freshman outfielder Christian Frank the following week. However, the C-team is not the only team with awards; on JV, a wrestling champion belt is handed to the best pitcher on the team, decided by whoever has the lowest walks-to-innings ratio.

“My first game with JV, I pitched a complete game and only walked one guy. After the game, the coaches handed me the belt,” freshman pitcher and outfielder Luke Wright said. “It felt great. I really felt good about the way I was playing, and I was motivated to continue my hard work.”

Some players on the team have individual game day rituals to enhance their skills.

Our chemistry helps a lot. It helps us stop just playing on the same field next to each other and start playing for one another. It’s like a brotherhood,”

— Freshman Luke Wright

“Before every game I eat fruit snacks and Clif Bars. I can’t explain why, it just makes me feel more calm and comfortable before we go and play,” Wright said. “I also listen to music before the game to help focus in on the game ahead of me and drown out the distractions.”

The Varsity baseball also has its own quirks. Using the name “Tony’s Army” in reference to head coach Tony McNabb, the team has assigned every player and coach on the team a role in the army. For instance, McNabb is referred to as “The General.”

“It was just something fun to do,” senior Collin Krewson said. “We all just wanted to have some fun while still playing the game we love.”

Midway through the season, the baseball program and the girls soccer program hosted a fundraising event called “Battle of the Bones,” which consisted of a chicken wing eating contest to raise money for an improvement on the baseball field called DuraEdge, a fast drying dirt used to prevent rainout games.

“Battle of the Bones was cool to do because it really showed what we could do if we all put our minds together,” Wright said. “After the event, it seemed that we all were closer together as a team and as individuals.”

The baseball program holds events every season in order to keep the team chemistry together. From team bonding to fundraising to giving out awards, playing as a team is a focal point of the baseball program. Near the end of the season, the program hosted a snow cone event and the players from all three teams were able to eat and hang out together.

Our chemistry helps a lot. It helps us stop just playing on the same field next to each other and start playing for one another. It’s like a brotherhood,” Wright said. “We all have a bond together that cannot be broken.”