Miners head into summer ball after breakthrough 2022 season
Park City looks to take next step following a 17-10 campaign
Some inclement early summer weather has led to a few rainouts, but Park City High School’s baseball team has still been busy working on improvement this summer.
“We’ve got a good group of kids playing all summer,” Park City assistant coach Matt Strader said. “Some of these kids are doing other teams as well, so they’re playing with us when they can or they’re on their travel teams playing in tournaments wherever they’ve been going.”
Park City’s baseball team is coming off a 17-10 season after struggling in 2021. While the season ended with two losses to Salem Hills at home, it was a big step forward for the program. Additionally, it’s easier to commit to training and playing during the summer when the players can see what it can lead to.
“We’ve got a little bit more commitment from the players this summer,” Strader said. “Some of these kids really saw the success this past spring and now just want to build on that and keep getting better.”
Strader pointed out that the summer season is only two games per week with an emphasis on having some fun. Most of the work toward improvement will be between games.
“They’ve got individual eating plans and workout plans all summer that the coaches have given them,” he said. “You’re really not going to get better playing two games a week. You’re going to get better by taking 1,000 swings a week, right, or going and taking ground balls and working on fundamentals, which they’re still doing.”
Strader added that there’s been a shift recently from playing as many games and tournaments as possible during the summer to emphasizing working on skills.
“We’re going to still play games, we’re going to go out, we’re going to have fun,” he said. “They’re more of a reward for working hard. But a lot of kids are getting that individual work or clinic work or going to camps and that kind of stuff all summer.”
While the Miners graduated a handful of seniors this past season, they’ll still return plenty of talent. Continuing to work hard and improve during the summer will be vital to Park City taking another step forward next season.
“The kids know now kind of what that next level that they need to get to, and they know individually where they need to improve,” Strader said. “We’re seeing that. We’re seeing the kids working hard individually.”
This summer will also present plenty of opportunities for Park City’s younger players who didn’t have a ton of playing time last season. The Miners are fielding both a JV and a varsity squad, and the scheduling allows players to bounce back and forth between the two teams.
“That’s the nice thing about the summer schedule is the younger kids play at 4 and the older kids play at 6, so we can have that,” Strader said. “We’ve got a roster of kids that play on both teams and then the kids that play on just the younger team and the older team. So, some of those kids that maybe didn’t get as much playing time or as many at-bats, they’re going to get that this summer for sure.”
It’s still early in the summer, so there’s plenty of baseball still left to be played, but early signs have been positive for Park City’s baseball team.
“We do have a lot of these kids that are bought in already just from, like I said, the success that we had this spring,” Strader said. “They want to keep working hard and they want to keep playing and they’re doing that. We’re seeing that this year just from the success that we had in the spring.”
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