Republished from the Jefferson City News Tribune
The Fatima baseball team reached the Final Four the past two seasons. The Comets, whose roster includes eight seniors, aren’t looking for anything less in their 2015 campaign.
“With as many seniors as I’ve got, any coach is going to expect (to) have your expectations higher than you normally would, just because they’ve got that experience,” Fatima coach Scott Kilgore said. “They’ve been there. They know what it feels like. They know how to win, and I think we can build on that and that can filter to the younger guys.”
In fact, the Comets’ expectations might be a little too high.
“You’re never really satisfied as an athlete, so I sometimes have to bring it back down,” he said. “And I’m not saying it’s an issue. It’s not. But it’s a constant reminder that hey, we want to go out. We want to compete with everyone we step foot on the field with and go from there. It’s all we can do.”
Right now, Kilgore’s focus is on getting off to a good start. The Comets, who which finished third in Class 3 last season, did just that Saturday with a 2-1 win of Jefferson City.
“It’s a great win, but it’s early,” Kilgore said. “… We did some things that prove that hey, this is the first game of the season. We had some defensive mishaps, if you will. Some miscommunications. And we know things like that are going to happen.”
Seven seniors started for Fatima against the Jays: Alex Dickneite, Zach Hudspeth, Logan Vogel, Sam Hager, Matt Temmen, Jared Schulte and Austin Schubert. Dickneite earned the win, and Zach Hudspeth had two doubles, an RBI and a run.
One game into the season, Kilgore felt the team’s experience has already shown — especially when the Comets got out of a bases-loaded jam in the third inning
That speaks loudly of our potential and what we can do defensively, and I think a lot of it is attribute to our experience,” he said. “We’re very senior heavy, and we’ve been in that situation a lot. You never really know how it’s going to happen, but as far as a comfort zone — I don’t know that we’ve necessarily reached where we want to be, but we may be a little bit more comfortable in that situation than a younger team.”
Kilgore hopes that experience trickles down to the younger players.
“Ideally, we want it to be contagious,” he said. “You want them to learn and get the knowledge base from those older guys through observation, through just working with them every day in practice. Game-time situational stuff. Our kids do a pretty good job of sharing information with each other. They all get along, so I think that helps.”
Kilgore said his team was only able to get in three practices on a baseball diamond before the season began due to rain and cold. In addition to needing the first few weeks to get back into the swing of things, the Comets face a schedule that might be a bit tougher than last season, with additional foes Jefferson City and Helias on the slate.
“Our schedule sets us up to be pretty solid,” Kilgore said. “If we can compete, that’s our goal. To go out and compete every time we step foot on the field.”