By Sophie Afdhal ’15, Assistant Sports Editor
Last Saturday, the F&M Baseball team participated in Warwick Little League’s evaluation day, where they spent the day assisting and evaluating the league of eight to 12 year olds. The day was intended to help as the league makes its teams for the upcoming season.
“We went to evaluate Warwick’s little leaguers and give them pointers on what to do in terms of hitting and catching,” said Sean Cosgriff ’15. “The league wanted non-biased evaluations of talent so they could create equal teams. We evaluated the players while also giving them pointers.”
The team arrived at 8 a.m. to begin preparing for the little leaguers, and, when they arrived, the team worked until 3 p.m. evaluat- ing and helping the children.
Cosgriff described the day in detail, emphasizing that the F&M players worked with their Little League counterparts.
“I spent the majority of my time working with the pitchers and evaluating them with the help of our pitching coaches,” Cosgriff said.
Cosgriff emphasized the difficulty of evaluating the players. He was asked to give each of them a specific score on their performance.
“Personally, and a lot of the guys felt this way, that you don’t want to evaluate kids at such a young age,” Cosgriff said. “Evaluating players at that age is so arbitrary, but we enjoyed the experience of giving them pointers and helping them out. It was worth much more giving the players older players to look up to and encouraging their talents. It was rewarding spending time with 15 plus teammates and giving back to the community. Encouraging youth athletics is really important, and volunteering is something F&M students should do more of in general.”
The Diplomats rose to the opportunity to foster athletic talent in the Warwick little leaguers. The day also served as a bonding experience for the F&M players prior to the start of their season.
This is a building year for baseball. The team will be a young group this season and have recruited several talented first-years.
The team has a new head coach, Ryan Horning, who is the former assistant coach. There is also a new pitching coach, Mike Ham, who is a former F&M baseball player.
According to Cosgriff, the new coaches are taking an alternative approach that will benefit the team. Cosgriff is hopeful for the upcoming season.
“We’re really kicking it up a notch now that the season is coming closer,” he said. “We’re hitting a stride point with everyone doing what they need to do to prepare. We are coming off a big conference win from last year so this season will be a little bit harder however the guys are up to the task.”
The team is looking forward to a big season and, hopefully, a continuation of Centennial Conference excellence. Their first game of the season will be Feb. 22 when the Diplomats play Guilford College away.
Junior Sophie Afdhal is the Assistant Sports Editor. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.