AHS Varsity Baseball Expectations

Ashton Mckinney, staff writer and photographer

Heading into the 2019 season, Varsity Baseball here at AHS will be expecting success as they have the last two seasons. Last year, they finished with a record of 19-1 and have accumulated talents across the board ranging from Owen Bishop to Jack Sheward. With a record of 19-1, this is a team with the potential to achieve greatness. But this has been a persistent problem throughout the years, as Arlington is continuously putting in the work during the regular season but not making that needed breakthrough to State.

When finishing with a 19-1 record, of course you will be expected to do the same or even better the following year. However, with AHS Baseball, it is routine for the team to have an incredible season. In 2016, they finished with a record of 17-3, and the year before that finishing 13-7. Varsity has only been getting better as the years go by, but are getting up in age. Only six of their fifteen man roster is not in their senior year, and only three of those players are sophomores. If AHS wants to make it to State this year, this may be their best chance of getting there.

Varsity Baseball player Michael Tsoukalas believes making State is not a goal, but an expectation. Most of their talent will be returning from last year, with the exception of Gavin Rork, and will be looking to go to State. As Michael put it, anything short of that would be a huge disappointment. Over the last tree years, Arlington has been to the playoffs every time but have also been denied State every time, and Michael believes this is due to the fact that the players are getting satisfied to early in the playoffs, and need to keep their head in the game the whole postseason.

Much like the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA, where it’s the norm to reach the playoffs but fail to make it passed the 1st or 2nd round, Varsity Baseball is much the same. They need to work on not settling for being a good team, but being a great one. Another young AHS varsity baseball player is sophomore Jacob Burkett. He says that their key to success this year is for non-stop improvement. He believes that last year they got to a good skill level, but never improved upon that from there. Adding to this, Jacob hopes everyone can keep their arms healthy and make the fielders jobs a lot easier.

 Athletic Director Tom Roys here at AHS is expecting great things this year as well. He says that this group of ball players are incredibly deep when it comes to pitching, do a great job of putting the bat on the ball, and are solid all around. In response to Arlington not making State the last couple of years, Roys believes that while Arlington is great baseball team, they’re playing other teams that are of equal skill level in the playoffs. However, Roys thinks this team is continuing to get better and will be good for the next couple of years, and need to go through a stretch of great baseball to make State.

When it comes down to it, Varsity Baseball has the talent. Jack Sheward, Michael Tsoukalas, Cole Cramer, Jacob Burkett, and Owen Bishop are just a few to name. However, it’s a matter of if they can keep their head in the game the whole season, not if they’re are good enough. If this is their year to make State, they’re already coming out of the gates fast with a record of 5-0 to start the 2019 season.