Baseball players train to finish out the season strong

Kaleb Stevens
Senior Julian Smith gives the team a pre-game pep-talk. The team also says a prayer to boost morale.

Christian Silva, Staff Writer

In baseball, training is a constant.

The Akins Varsity Baseball team takes this to heart, always putting in time and effort preparing for the next game.

The team practices every day during the fourth and eighth periods as well as afterschool and most Saturdays when games are not scheduled.

Coaches have players work on perfecting the mistakes from the previous games. Other days they work on drills and then mix in some batting practice. All this dedication is an effort to make it to playoffs and win the district championship.

The team has five returning seniors, David Wilson, Conner Archer, Andrew Wilk, Julian Smith, and Santiago Rodriguez.

Wilk, who plays catcher, said the team trains hard and works to come together as a unit.

“Outside of practice we try to hang out and bond as a team,” he said.

Wild said he thinks training is important to help the players establish good habits and routines.

“(It helps) make sure we all see the big picture, which is making it the playoffs,” he said.

Wilk also believes the team has strengths like their strong chemistry and trust between each other. Despite that Wilk said the team’s biggest challenge is their own mindsets.

“We have to go out on the field with the highest amount of confidence in ourselves… so that we succeed and get out jobs done,” Wilk said.

There is a lot of pressure the players go through. They work out hard during practice and carry around their equipment all day. Players also miss a lot of class time for games, making them juggle their schedule around in order to make up missed class work.

Head coach Gene Salazar always tells the players who are behind in academics “there is a reason it’s called being a student-athlete because the student part comes first.” He emphasizes that players must pass their classes to be eligible to play. Because of how late the games finish up, some players end up doing class work on the bus while on the way to their games.

The baseball team just recently beat the Lake Travis Cavaliers, which is a big deal in school history. Lake Travis was the number two team in the nation and was knocked down to number four because of one game.

“We went into that game as underdogs facing a big shot team, and ended up giving them a run for their money,” Wilk said.

Lake Travis was also the last team in the district to have an undefeated record until they played us.

“We will have our hardships and will face a lot of adversity, but we will just have to rise up and keep pushing,” Wilk said.

Players on the team said they plan to finish the rest of the season with high energy, and giving it their all.