Varsity baseball players prepare for playoff run

Team works on conditioning for upcoming challenges


JJ Mendiola

Sophomore Zachary Cole practicing his ground balls and throwing. The team is putting in hours of practice preparing before district games start in late February.

Gregory Roque, Staff Writer

The Akins Baseball season started on Feb. 4, and the players say they are ready to make one more run for the playoffs.

The varsity team faced Round Rock in the first series of the playoffs last year. Players were mentally rattled when they found during the series that their former teammate Chad Taylor had died. The players entered the game with heavy hearts and were defeated 12-2, ending their playoff run.

Head baseball coach Eugene Salazar said Taylor’s death at the end of the season hit the team hard. Despite the tragic end to the season, Salazar said he was proud of how the team chemistry became stronger as the year went on.

Salazar is hoping to repeat that chemistry, again, with a new team although one that has several returning members of the varsity team.

Nico Romero Junior, David Wilson Senior, Andrew Wilk Senior, Julian Smith Senior these all the returning players from last year they are back and are ready for another run.

One challenge the team will face is that the University Interscholastic League districts were realigned this year and now Akins will face three new teams that were not in last year’s district line up, including Westlake, Lake Travis, and Austin High.

Players said their shared goal is to show their fans and their coaches of how hard they’ve been working, especially the varsity team.

Many seniors on the varsity team have been playing together for three or four years and have developed strong relationships with their teammates. Several said they are excited that they finally get to prove what they can do as seniors on the varsity team.

Senior Dave Wilson, who has played for the Akins Baseball program for all four years of high school, said he is hoping to achieve his personal goals of making the team, the coaches and the whole entire school proud and remember about what he did on the field this year.

I want to take us as far as we can go.

— Dave Wilson

“(I hope to) just to have the best season I have (had) in my 4 years here and I want to win,” Wilson said. ”I’ll say it again, of course, I want to win all the awards and stuff but I want to be a team player, too, So, I’m ready for that.”

Junior Noah Torres said his personal goals for the season are to help his teammates become better players.

“I feel like, this season is going to be a good one not only because of the challenge but it’s going to help us grow as ballplayers and as teammates and ultimately as friends,” Torres said.

Sophomore Ryan Roque said that he doesn’t have any personal goals but is excited about starting o the season fresh and to be productive on the eld.

Akins Varsity baseball played their first scrimmage at Feb 5 at Hutto; the score was 1-5 (Hutto). Roque said that this is not the start that they wanted, but they are hoping to see improvement for the next year.

The whole baseball teams are going to be pretty busy every day with their after-school practices, weekend practices and their game days for the next 3 months they are looking to have one of the best seasons they have had in a while and the mindset is getting farther than they did last year.

They are looking for any good luck and positive vibes only this season, especially when they play against new school districts. ey are hoping that Akins gets as many wins as they possibly can when they play against the new teams this year.

The team has one common goal in mind and that is to get farther than last year, sending a statement to the other teams they should not take Akins varsity baseball lightly.