The Russellville Indians baseball team is getting ready for the new spring season.
While the last spring season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the team was able to play 15 games during the summer.
Even with those 15 games, head coach Lucas Branson said he thinks there is some impact from missing the previous season for the players who are returning this season.
“All of our returning players missed out on that year of development, and even though we were fortunate to play 15 games in the summer, our guys didn’t get the practice time that all coaches like to see,” Branson said. “So we are spending more time this spring working on more basic drills.”
Branson said like every season, the team’s number one goal is to get better today than it was yesterday. But that is not the only goal the team has, Branson said.
“We also add to that based on realistic expectations of what kind of talent we have,” Branson said. “I believe every one of our players has the same goal of competing for and winning another district championship.”
Branson said some of the areas the team is focusing on right now include getting the pitchers ready and developing more depth. As the season moves along, Branson said the team will work on fine-tuning other areas and making better in-game adjustments when needed, as well as continuing to stay focused on playing with great fundamentals.
During the early parts of the season, Branson said the team will be working on getting the younger players used to playing at the varsity level.
“We want to see our players go out and compete and have fun,” Branson said. “Most of our returning players didn’t get a chance to play last spring, so we are fully aware of making the most of the opportunities given to us. We have a lot of new faces that will be counted on so early on. It is simply going to be about getting them acclimated to playing varsity-level high school baseball.”
From the team’s early practices, Branson said he has seen a lot of overall athleticism and expects the team to have solid pitching and play good defense.
“Those two areas are always big keys to success, so we will continue to work on improving that,” Branson said. “I think our offense will begin to come around with seeing more live pitching, but for right now, we are working hard on being good with our basic fundamentals in all areas.”
As the season goes along, Branson said after gaining some experience, he would like to see the players take the right steps in the direction of their goal of winning another district championship.
“We all know that is never an easy task and we will have to maintain control of the things we can control and play with great attitudes, effort and focus,” Branson said.
Russellville Indians baseball season schedule
March 20 - 10 a.m., vs. Lafayette County at Knob Noster
March 20 - 12:30. p.m., at Knob Noster
March 23 - 5 p.m., vs. Vienna
March 25 - 5 p.m., at Tuscumbia
March 26 - 4:30 p.m., at Skyline
March 27 - 10 a.m., vs. Lincoln
March 27 - 3 p.m., vs. Crane
March 29 - 5 p.m., vs. California
March 30 - 5 p.m., vs. Jamestown
April 6 - 5 p.m., at Eldon
April 8 - 8 a.m., vs. Fatima
April 9 - 5 p.m., at St. Elizabeth
April 10 - TBA, at Cairo Tournament
April 12 - 5 p.m., at Eugene
April 15 - 5 p.m., at Linn
April 17 - 9:30 a.m., vs. Versailles
April 17 - 2:30 p.m., vs. Camdenton
April 19 - 5 p.m., vs. Osage
April 22 - 5 p.m., vs. South Callaway
April 27 - 5 p.m., at Harrisburg
April 29-May 1 - TBA, at Russellville Tournament
May 7 - 5 p.m., at Capital City
May 10 - 5 p.m., at New Bloomfield
May 12 - 5 p.m., vs. Southern Boone
May 15-20 - TBA, at District Tournament