Spring sports start practice seasons

REED CITY — Don’t look now but it’s true baseball weather outside.

It couldn’t have come at a better time for baseball teams.

The official first days of practice for spring sports teams was Monday and it came during a week in which temperatures were expected to be in the 60s.

Monday, because of the rain, the Reed City baseball team was inside the high school gym.

Scott Shankel is in his second year of coaching Reed City baseball.

“We’ll be inside all day today,” he said on Monday. “I’m hoping (Tuesday) we’ll be outside. We’ll plan on getting outside as much as we can whereas last spring we were inside way too much.”

On Monday, Shankel was looking for up to 14 players.

“I’m looking at a few younger kids so they might end up going down to the JVs,” he said. “Our numbers are fine, right where we want them to be.”

Shankel said the goal is to “get those arms loosen up a little bit, get them back into the routine of throwing and get some of that soreness out. We’ll work on fielding as much a we can.”

The first game, weather-permitting, is scheduled for March 27 at Reed City against Evart. On March 30, Reed City is off for a week with spring break.

“I’m hoping with Evart, we can get in a game before spring break,” Shankel said.

Although practices officially began Monday, players were allowed to work out on their own during the offseason and coaches could work with four players at a time.

“Our offseason, we were looking at each and everyone of those guys,” Shankel said. “Every Sunday, we had a hitting instructor come up for about an hour and a half to two hours. As far as offseason, Cody Strach played a little bit in the summer.”

There are seven returning players from a team that won a district and advanced to the regional finals a year ago.

“I brought up three sophomores. So we have about 10 kids that were part of that champ,” Shankel said.