It’s never too early for spring training for Oakdale High School baseball. With well over 40 signups of incoming freshman taking part in a summer clinic to help prepare themselves for tryouts next spring. Eight coaches, including freshman baseball Coach Chris Jackson, junior varsity Coach Scot Gehl and Varsity Coach Nate Gregory on hand to help them along the way.
“This is a much larger turnout then we anticipated which is great though. Every kid that has shown up is coachable and enjoys the game of baseball.” Expressed coach Gehl.
The clinic is a summer program to help the hopefuls learns what to expect when playing for Oakdale High School baseball. It consists of three other local schools Enochs, Gregori and Escalon. The teams will play each other throughout the summer.
Almost all of the kids have been playing baseball since they were four years old playing T-ball for the Oakdale Baseball Association.
“I’ve grew up playing baseball in this town. I remember playing T-ball as a kid and now I’m here playing on the high school field.” said 14-year- old Corey Hinojosa. Hinojosa plays catcher and third base, but when the time comes for official tryouts, he would like to try out for catcher position. This past season, a walk-on freshman, Bryce Kirk made the varsity team and that caught the attention of Hinojosa as well.
“I seen what Kirk did for the varsity team and that was impressive. It would be cool to be a freshman on varsity, but I love Oakdale baseball and I want to be a part of it at any level.”
Another hopeful is Mason Barnes, also fourteen years old, who wants to be the starting second basemen when the season rolls around.
“This clinic is amazing. They help us prepare for the next level. It has helped me with tremendously in every aspect of the game. I mean everything from hitting, fielding, base running, how to read a defense, and even conditioning.” Barnes said.
Coach Jackson is paying extra attention to the talent during this workout, as many of them will be playing under him in the upcoming 2015 season.
“This is a very talented bunch of kids out here. They all have the skills to be great ball players, and they’re all here during their summer break to better themselves, and that tells me just how much the sport means to them.” Jackson said with enthusiasm.