Meadville Tribune

Breaking News

Sports

March 22, 2013

Locals prepare for season down south

MEADVILLE — March came in like a lion all right. But the beast has overstayed its welcome, with April approaching and the outdoors still looking a lot like Christmas.

Not the best conditions for throwing fastballs or digging out grounders (although sliding into home would still work ... pretty well, in fact).

However, there are a few area baseball and softball teams that were thinking ahead as they booked trips to sunnier climes to start the 2013 season.

“We’re glad to be going somewhere,” said Saegertown’s head softball coach Mark McKissock. He and his Panthers will be flying out to Cocoa Beach, Fla., on March 27, where they will pack in four games and one scrimmage in five days while the Panthers’ JV squad will also play five.

“We want to get innings, no doubt about it,” said McKissock. “Beyond that, we aren’t going to do a whole lot of traveling or sightseeing. We’re there to play softball and to get to know each other as a team and bond as a team.”

Getting familiar will also be one of the main goals for the Meadville baseball team and its first-year head coach Bruce Stewart. Today, he and the Bulldogs will hit the highway for Gaffney, S.C., where they will play three games over three days while the JV squad will also get in a pair.

“Yeah, I’ve only seen a couple of my players actually play ball,” said Stewart. “I’m looking forward to getting outside with them. We’ve been in the gym for so long.”

It’s not just the on-field ability of his team that Stewart is hoping he’ll learn more about during the trip. He’s also hoping to glean just who his players actually are as people.

“It will definitely be nice to get to hang out with these kids besides two hours of practice,” he said. “We’ll get to know them a little better. These kinds of trips can really help the camaraderie of a team.”

So, Stewart a first-year head coach. And Meadville — which finished 10-9 and made a playoff appearance last year — is going to be a fairly young squad. So this team-building process will be an important aspect of the trip.

The bonding process is also important for the Saegertown baseball team. But these Panthers know each other pretty well by this point, graduating just one senior after last season’s 23-2 finish, which  included a District 10 championship and a run to the state quarterfinals.

So when the Panthers hit the road to Gaffney, S.C. today, they are also looking to give themselves a test on the playing field.

“We’re playing South Park and (Taylor) Allderdice,” said Saegertown coach Tim Crum, whose team is scheduled to play four games over three days beginning with South Park and Taylor Allderdice on Saturday in Hickory, N.C. “We project those two to be two of the better teams we will play, not taking anything away from Meadville or Hickory.”

Saegertown plays Hickory (out of Hermitage) on Sunday and Meadville on Monday.

“We want good competition,” Crum said. “We want to be put in pressure situations and see how we handle it. We want to execute, pitch well, be efficient from the mound. We’ve spent a lot of time together and have seen a ton of pitches already through open gyms. Now it’s time to put that into a live situation and see how effective we can be.”

These trips down south weren’t just thrown together at the last minute. In some cases, the trips spent a year or more in the planning phase.

“We were thinking about it last year. It just didn’t come together,” said McKissock. “We’ve always wanted to go somewhere, but the first two years we concentrated on just getting our feet on the ground. We did think about it last year, but couldn’t put it together. At the end of last year we got the parents together and said, ‘This is what we are thinking.’”

After that came the process of raising funds for the trip.

“The community has supported us tremendously and the parents worked their butts off … and the kids too,” McKissock said.

Crum said it will cost the baseball team close to $7,000 to make its trip south. All of that money is raised through the boosters.

“We have a great boosters group,” Crum said. “All are very willing and involved. The district is not asked to pay anything.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Sliding into second District 1 remains unbeaten after two routs

    Becca Siple’s response to a question on Twitter may have said it all.
    “Best experience of my life,” Siple said, when asked by The Meadville Tribune via Twitter to describe her experience thus far at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament. Following her response was the hashtag #D1isfamily.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Steelers camp Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.
    Spence almost gleefully smashed into fullback Bryce Davis during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first full contact drill of training camp on Monday. The two tussled for several seconds before Davis — his fists full of Spence’s jersey — pulled them both to the ground.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • District 1 dominates at East Regional

    Outscoring its opponents 32-0, District 1 moved to 3-0 at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament on Monday with a pair of wins.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kissing the bricks Gordon wins at Indy for record 5th time

    With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again.
    Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight days before his 43rd birthday and on the weekend Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first Brickyard victory.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Roethlisberger OK with choice to wait on new deal

    There are days when Ben Roethlisberger can feel every single hit he’s absorbed during a decade as one of the NFL’s most fearless quarterbacks.
    And there are days when the Pittsburgh Steelers star sees the young faces surrounding him in the huddle and it seems like he can play forever.

    July 26, 2014

  • Teen doping Survey: Teens experimenting with HGH on the rise

    Michael Guerreri wanted to try human growth hormones so he could look like a pro wrestler. Joe Badalanato hoped HGH would help him become a better football player. James O’Brien figured the drug would improve his fastball.
    The three 18-year-olds from suburban Philadelphia told The Associated Press this week that they bought bottles of HGH online in the past year. Turns out, what they bought was fake.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Montoya back at Indy intent on winning for Penske

    Juan Pablo Montoya is back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — one night only, an encore of sorts, in a guest-starring role for Team Penske.
    The Colombian is entered in the Brickyard 400 for the explicit purpose of winning at Indy in NASCAR and giving team owner Roger Penske one of the few trophies missing from his collection.

    July 25, 2014

  • Haley Wise District 1 looking forward to bigger goals

    The members of the District 1 Senior League softball team haven’t spent a whole lot of time playing together.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meadville's magical season comes to an end

    The state run is over for the Meadville Junior League All-Stars.
    Guess they’ll just have to content themselves with a District 1 championship, a Section 1 championship and an incredible turnaround from the year before.

    July 24, 2014

  • AP source: Gordon to meet with league Aug. 1

    The Cleveland Browns may soon learn whether they’ll have Josh Gordon this season.

    July 24, 2014

Sports Scoreboard
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Business Marquee
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Poll

A South Carolina woman was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The decision has created a debate over “free-range” parenting and whether it’s a good idea or not. What’s your take?

I’m fine with it. If she cannot afford childcare, what choice does she have?
This is horrible and very bad parenting.
I’m torn. It’s not right what she did, but it sounds like the mother had few other options.
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks