By Bailey Beringer
Cactus Canyon Junior High sports go off to a quick start in the new school year with baseball and softball tryouts beginning on just the second day of school. Now that the team has been set, the baseball team is busy preparing for its first game, which is at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday Aug., 25 on the Cactus Canyon baseball field.
Rival J.O. Combs will be the first opponent, and coach Mark Boseck is excited to get the games underway.
“I feel positive about this team,” he said. “I think they’ll make the playoffs, but it’s too soon to tell.”
Some of the players have even higher goals.
“We’re just going to keep getting better and better,” said eighth grader Billy Apodaca. “And go to the championship and win the championship.“
School started on Aug. 9 with two-day tryouts beginning the following day.
The Cougars had about 35 boys try out, each and everyone of them going for the same thing, a chance to represent Cactus Canyon on the baseball team.
Only 18 boys got a promising answer and a uniform. For the coaches, the cuts were difficult, but they knew what type of players they were looking for. Spots on the team were earned through attitude, strength, and ability to play the game of baseball.
“The decisions were based on ready attitudes and if they have a baseball background,” said Coach Boseck.
Tryouts involved strength, throwing, and running drills. Coach Boseck tested the boys’ running speed by timing how fast each one can run 30 yards. They tested batting by pitching every player and determined how far each individual could throw according to the grounders the coach and his assistants could hit to them.
The first official practice was on Aug. 12. The team will practice from 2 to 4:30 p.m. each day to prepare for its games.
“My boys’ strengths as a team is always having the hunger to learn more and more, coach Boseck said. “(It is) ayoung team learning a new game, which means a lot of my boys come from smaller fields. Now they’re in the big league.”