Baseball looks forward after tough season
Life never happens as expected. Especially in baseball.
The Park City baseball season was a bit tougher than head baseball coach Buster Schwab had anticipated, but as his last one in the Miners uniform, it turned out be quite an interesting one.
"We did not reach any of our preseason goals that we had set out and if you measure your season by wins and losses, we failed to get the job done for a myriad of reasons," Schwab said.
Schwab said that one the main problems was the schedule. The coaching staff assumed at the beginning of the season, that the schedule they had put together was going to feature some easier teams and build up to the tougher opponents closer to Region 10 play.
mid-season, they realized that all but one of teams the Miners played this season missed making the 3A State playoffs. Out of the final four teams in the 3A State baseball tournament, three were from Region 10, and Judge and Wasatch finished second and third in the state.
Schwab says that as he prepares to leave the program, he is still struggling to figure out why his team full of skilled players struggles to win close games.
"I have opposing parents and coaches coming up to me all of the time saying ‘you guys are a good team,’ and it just gets more frustrating because we have failed to figure out a way to win the games which would help build the confidence amongst the young and inexperienced players we have in our program," Schwab said.
Schwab is confident, though, that things will start looking up for the Park City sluggers as soon as next season. This past year, they started a very young team at times — with as many as four freshman playing in one varsity game — and Schwab is hopeful that the game experience and leadership from the older players will help the team next season. Also, the junior varsity team lost only three games this season and the freshmen/sophomore team is above .500 for the year with a few more games to play. Judge and Wasatch will say goodbye to their talent-laden senior classes next week, leaving the door wide open for a successful Park City season next year.
At last week’s team awards banquet, the Miners received both individual team and region-level awards. For Most Valuable Player, Andrew Hoyt received the varsity recognition. Greg Method was named as the junior varsity winner, and Austin Molinaro received the freshman/sophomore award. The Miner award, honoring players that exemplify "team first," a positive attitude and willingness to do whatever it takes, went to Jeff Allen on the varsity level, Johnny D’Olimpio on junior varsity and Andrew Wood on the freshmen/sophomore team. Junior Brett Sanchez, junior Andrew Hoyt and freshman Atlee Schwab were named to the All-Region 10 team.
Even though Schwab will no longer be heading the program, he has made sure to create a fairly aggressive off-season game schedule. There are about 40 games and four tournaments slated for the summer league season, and Schwab hopes it will give the underclassmen the experience and maturity needed to win close games next year.
Although a new head coach has yet to be named, Schwab is hopeful that a member of the current staff will get the nod in order to maintain the system, player relationships and off-season work that has been in place over the last few years.
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The Park City Police Department last week and early this week received several reports of parties, a common complaint to the agency during busy times of the ski season. The cases did not appear to be serious, but they seem to show an uptick in activity in the community.