Article by Sally Jang
Photograph by Juan Periquet
This year, some ISM sports teams are seeing changes as baseball and fastpitch softball make their way to IASAS. The transition from slow-pitch softball to baseball requires a lot of teaching in order for players to hone a more refined skill set.
“The greatest challenge, though, was pulling the students-athletes in a lot of different directions,” says Coach Willey.
Field space is also a challenge as there are no regulation fields nearby, but Coach Willey says that the team managed to schedule eight local games and some simulated games in the evenings. Another challenge is that season three is shorter by two weeks this year. This means less preparation and time for coaches and athletes.
“Coaches have to pick their IASAS teams more quickly this year, which adds some pressure for their important decisions,” Mr. Pekin says. Despite the challenges, the teams get full support , especially from ATAC, who has been willing to invest time and money into the new program. This year, ATAC invested in a hitting cage, a pitching machine, new bats, baseballs, and catchers’ gear.
When asked the difference between competition locally in comparison to Pre-IASAS, Mr. Pekin answered, “Pre-IASAS allows for a higher level of competition and intensity.”
A higher level of competition and intensity, according to him, is made possible as the players are given the feel of an IASAS game in the space of a short weekend away. Athletes and coaches also get to experience the bonding and goal-setting for the second half of the season in the lead up to IASAS.
So far, the boy’s baseball team has been working hard in the lead-up to IASAS. With the IASAS tournament fast-approaching, Mr. Pekin says, “We wish all our Bearcats and coaches the very best for IASAS and thank everyone who has participated during season 3.”