‘Put your head back up’: Springfield International Charter School coach turns baseball program around
SPRINGFIELD, MA. (WGGB/WSHM) - In this week’s Friday Night Feature story, Western Mass News spoke with the Springfield International Charter School baseball team about their hot start to the season.
“In years past we struggled to put wins together,” said Quinn McKenna.
But that’s not the case this season.
This is Coach Quinn McKenna’s second season as head coach of the Bulldogs baseball team, he lead them to an 8-3 record.
“We have two overarching goals for the season that’s the western mass playoffs and the state playoffs and we haven’t accomplished those yet.”
He told Western Mass News both goals are still in sight after losing in the first round of states last season.
Coach McKenna said minor adjustments go a long way.
“We have been working a lot on transfer from ball to glove, quick hands quick feet,” said McKenna. “Making sure we play one pitch, one out, at a time.”
Another point of emphasis is to create a culture of competitiveness, intention, and focus.
The players said they feel the difference.
“A lot of players have more confidence,” said Kaiden Williams. “It’s changed from our other season. We were not as serious as we are this year.”
Williams said everyone has their own way of contributing.
“I’m kind of quiet so I don’t lead as much but I will help,” said Williams. “I will lead by example.”
Nathan Sanderson, the junior pitcher told us he can be the voice of reason when necessary.
“Our practices are definitely very serious when we’re playing,” said Sanderson. “While we’re in between drills and stuff we’re definitely having a good time joking around with each other.”
He explained the team’s ability to bounce back from adversity is what sets them apart.
“Even if we’re down, stay confident and we still can come back and win this game,” said Sanderson. “Don’t hold your head down, put your head back up and look forward to the rest of the game.
Coach McKenna told us there are several factors at play when it comes to wins and losses but one that stands out the most.
“The student athletes showing up every single day dedicating themselves to practice, making the general commitment to be part of the team.
The Bulldogs have seven more regular season games before the playoffs begin.
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