News

College Baseball Scholarships

By: Andy Partin

In this article let’s break down college baseball scholarships by position.

What are the general guidelines to how programs hand out their money for college baseball scholarships. This is a topic kids and parents need to be better educated on.

What position do you think gets the biggest chunk of money towards baseball scholarships for college? … If you said pitching you are correct. The majority of money is spent to build a team’s pitching staff. We’ve all heard it – “pitching wins championships” and it’s true. I’m sure you can think of countless examples of teams winning Championships with dominate pitching staffs.

College programs are going to spend at least 50% of their money on their pitching staff. I’d imagine upwards of 70% at certain programs.

After pitching a program must solidify the middle of the field. So, catching, middle infield and speedy outfielders will typically receive the next largest scholarships.

Last and yes least in order of scholarship size is generally corner position players. This is not always the case. I’ve had kids I’ve coached that were slow-footed corner players but were born to hit and they received monster size scholarships at major universities. The majority of those kids signed with MLB clubs out of high school though.

College programs love athletic guys who can really defend and that can really hit, but those type of guys are hard to come by. And typically if they can do all those well they are going to the University of the 1st Round.

I hope this gives you a better understanding of where college baseball scholarship money typically goes by position. These are just general guidelines and not used by all schools but it’s usually the case.

On The Field: Ronald Vincent “RV”

Date: May 16, 2019
By: Eric Leary

Known to many as simply, “RV” – Ronald Vincent has been coaching baseball in eastern North Carolina for 5 decades. Not only is he the all-time winningest high school baseball coach in the state with multiple state championships, he’s also one of the classiest coaches you’d ever meet. Impact Baseball is happy to have him on this edition of On the Field.

How did your 2019 finish up? Based on your pre-season expectations how is your team’s progress towards those goals it may have set?

We finished the season 18-7.  We were able to improve tremendously this season. Pitching was very solid and our young players got a great deal better.

Weather is always an issue for baseball. This season has definitely presented some challenges.  How have you adapted to the weather?

Not very well. Not getting on field enough for practice . We try to keep inside workouts short and varied.

Who are the the players in your program going on to play at the next level?  Also, who on your team deserves to get some attention from those looking for top players?

Clay Stanley has committed to Pitt. Shane Rodamaker is trying to decide. Grant Charles Jarman is a really good player if he doesn’t play football.

How long have you been the head baseball coach at J.H. Rose High School?  And what other stops or sports have you made on your coaching journey? Additionally, who have been some influences in your coaching development?

Been at Rose since 1974 Coached at Farmville for four years. Coached football for over thirty years. Also basketball and wrestling. Learned a great deal from Coach Fulghum. Learned much from watching other coaches in football and basketball. Always trying to learn.

Who have been some of the most memorable players and teams you’ve had the opportunity to coach?  What makes them stand out?

Obviously the state championship teams and other great teams that could have won with the right break. These teams believed in themselves and were very resilient, to many great players to list. All worked very hard.

Rivalries and competition can sometimes be intense.  But good coaches recognize and appreciate an opponent who brings out the best in them.  Which teams and coaches in your career have found to be the most challenging to face?

New Hanover teams in 1990s. Rocky Mount teams for years were very well coached New Bern teams in our conference. Always a great game with Conley, Coach Fulghum’s teams were very good every year. Some really good coaches now.

SHORT TAKES

What is your favorite part of practice?

Watching players improve over the year. Like most of practice each day. Some very intense scrimmages with coach pitching. Players really get after it.

What is your favorite position or skill to coach? Favorite drill?

Some if the infield drills are really fun. Enjoy each position.

What does your program do on game day that is unique or special?

Not much. Love BP on the field in pre game.

What is your favorite uniform and hat look you have with your program?

We wear green shirts and white pants green hat with GR.

What do you consider to be the best part of your facility at J.H. Rose High School?

Love playing at Guy Smith stadium. Our indoor facility is awesome.

SPEED ROUND

  • When your team is hitting –  coach 3B or dugout? Can’t stay in dugout. Coach first now.
  • When you give signals to hitters – signs or wrist bands? Signs
  • When your guy hits a HR – high five or fist bump? High five
  • When you are in uniform – ankle length pants or high socks? Ankle length
  • When you reach in your back pocket – stopwatch or no stopwatch? Nothing
  • When you are marking your field – chalk or painted lines? Paint mostly. Some chalk

Thanks to Coach Vincent for sharing and giving us a little insight on his team and career!  All the best to him and the Rampants in 2019!

On The Field: Reid Holmes

Date: May 9, 2019
By: Eric Leary

Joining us today one this edition of On The Field with Impact Baseball is the head coach at Southwest Guilford High School, Reid Holmes. Coach Holmes does an excellent job year in and year out with both his players and facility.  We know you’ll enjoy all the details and insights he is about to share.

At this point of the 2019 season how would you say it’s going? Based on your pre-season expectations how is your team’s progress towards those goals it may have set?

We are excited to be the Piedmont Triad 3A Conference Champions! We are 18-6 overall and will play for our tournament championship. We set several goals at the beginning of every season and to win the regular season conference championship is certainly one of those and secure the #1 seed from our conference. We strive to improve on a daily basis as the year progresses and that mentality has served us well over the years.

Weather is always an issue for baseball.  This season has definitely presented some challenges.  How have you adapted to the weather?

You are definitely right about the weather. We talk about controlling what we can and not concerning ourselves with the other things. The weather is certainly out of our hands, so we harp on making sure we maximize our time together no matter the situation. We are fortunate that we have covered batting cages at our field and this allows us to work even when the field is unplayable. We also have the NC Baseball Academy in close proximity to our school and we are able to visit that top notch facility when the weather dictates that we can’t be outside at all. Plus, the gym is used periodically when there are no other options. Our kids have adjusted well to all of the changes!

 Who are the the players in your program going on to play at the next level?  Also, who on your team deserves to get some attention from those looking for top players?

Tom Grose is signed with UNC Greensboro. He was the conference POY in 2018 but an ACL tear in January abruptly ended his 2019 season. He played SS for us but is versatile enough to play any of the 3 INF positions. Isaiah Hairston is going to play at Guilford College. He’s a big strong 1B, and he leads our team in average, RBI’s and HR’s this year. We have several other players that I believe with continued hard work will have some opportunities down the road – Jr./RHP Jacob Shafer, Jr./LHP Owen Kincaid, Soph./RHP/SS Easton Morgan, Soph./OF Jaxon Rauber, Soph./C Luke Johnson, Fr./Utility Joe Specht, Fr./RHP/3B Hunter Whitten.

How long have you been the head baseball coach at SW Guilford High School?  And what other stops or sports have you made on your coaching journey? Additionally, who have been some influences in your coaching development?

I have been the Head Baseball Coach at SWG for 20 years. Prior to becoming the Head Baseball Coach, I was an assistant at SWG for 3 years under both Mike Herndon (Salisbury Head Coach) and Chris Cook. While teaching English at SWG, I have also coached football (5 years) and JV basketball (3 years). I have been the Assistant AD since 2000 as well. I began my coaching career as a baseball assistant for 2 years at Western Guilford in 1995 with Chris Causey as the head coach. I’ve been extremely blessed during my tenure at SWG to have REALLY good assistant coaches. They deserve a lot of the credit for our success over the years.

Who have been some of the most memorable players and teams you’ve had the opportunity to coach?  What makes them stand out?

All of the teams that I’ve coached have taken on their own identity and been memorable in their own way. My 1st year at SWG as an assistant in 1997, we were fortunate to win the 2A State Championship versus a very good Cherryville HS team. My 1st year as a head coach in 2000 we were defeated in the Regional Finals by Fuquay Varina. Those 2 seasons stand out due to the fact that those were the 1st seasons as both an assistant and head coach at SWG. However, every team has been enjoyable and rewarding in their own unique way. I’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of really good players who have moved on to play both collegiately and professionally. I’ve always said that good players to an extent make us all look like good coaches. Blake Cross (UNC Wilmington/Atlanta Braves), Jeff Landing (VA Tech/NY Mets), Rhett Ballard (VA Tech/Colorado Rockies), Warren Slack (UNCG/San Diego Padres), Blake Hassebrock (UNCG/Oakland A’s), and Brock Hudgens (UNC Charlotte/Milwaukee Brewers) just to name a few players that have stood out over the years.

Rivalries and competition can sometimes be intense. But good coaches recognize and appreciate an opponent who brings out the best in them.  Which teams and coaches in your career have you found to be the most challenging to face?

Rivalries are one of things that make athletics fun! There are so many coaches that I respect and enjoyed competing against throughout the state it’s hard to narrow them down. However, I’ll stay local with a few schools and coaches. The schools over the years that have brought out the best in SW baseball and challenged us to improve in order to compete at a high level are Glenn HS (Dale Ijames/John Fowler), Western Guilford (Chris Causey), Ragsdale (Donnie Maness), and NW Guilford (Sonny Gann). Lots of respect for the teams and coaches mentioned above!

SHORT TAKES

What is your favorite part of practice?

I really enjoy all of our defensive work from fungoes, situational work and communication drills. We pride ourselves on pitching and defense and spend a lot time on these areas.

What is your favorite position or skill to coach?  Favorite drill?

I have enjoyed spending time with all of the positions over the years but most recently I’ve found myself spending more time with our infielders. My favorite thing is throwing BP. This has always been something I’ve enjoyed over the years.

What is your favorite uniform and hat look for your program?

White pants, White top, Green hat

SPEED ROUND

  • When your team is hitting –  coach 3B or dugout? 3B
  • When you give signals to hitters – signs or wrist bands?  signs
  • When your guy hits a HR  – high five or fist bump?   high five         
  • When you are in uniform – ankle length pants or high socks? ankle length
  • When you reach in your back pocket – stopwatch or no stopwatch? No stopwatch
  • When you are marking your field – chalk or painted lines?    painted lines

We’d like to thank Coach Holmes for taking a few moments and sharing with us about his career, his views and his program.  Best of luck to him and his Cowboys!

On The Field: Corey Skinner

Date: May 1, 2019
By: Eric Leary

The On the Field series continues today with Corey Skinner, the skipper at Ayden-Grifton High School, located in Pitt County.  Coach Skinner not only leads the Chargers as the head coach but is also an alum of the program. We can’t wait to see what he has to share about himself and his team.

At this point of the 2019 season how would you say it’s going? Based on your pre-season expectations how is your team’s progress towards those goals it may have set?
We’ve had the normal ups and downs, but we had some guys step up in really big situations over the last few weeks and get us a few big wins. Our goals were to better than last year and go one step further in our season. So far we have put ourselves in a situation where all our goals are attainable.

Weather is always an issue for baseball.  This season has definitely presented some challenges.  How have you adapted to the weather
We’ve had to be very flexible. Coaches and umpires have been more than gracious accommodating all the changes. At one point this year, we had played fewer games on the original date/time than we had moved. Shout out to the 7 weather apps on my phone! The real MVPs.

Who are the the players in your program going on to play at the next level?  Also, who on your team deserves to get some attention from those looking for top players?
Jordan Atkinson our 1B/3B/DH has committed to Methodist along with OF Mason Ross who is also committed to Methodist. Junior C – Brandon Benfield is an absolute stud at the plate. A catcher who can swing it! Gap to gap power. We’ve also got a sophomore on the mound who has really emerged this year in Tanner Cannon. Good velo and really has devoted himself to developing his secondary pitches and being better at spotting up. JR-SS Jackson Upchurch really sets the tone offensively for us. Austin Jones has been our ace again this year and led our staff. He’s got a few offers out there, just trying to find a good fit. Blake Mclawhorn (CI)  has really come into his own at the plate. LHH who has pull power. High School QB trying to decide what’s best for him at the next level.

How long have you been the head baseball coach at Ayden-Grifton High School?  And what other stops or sports have you made on your coaching journey? Additionally, who have been some influences in your coaching development?
This is our 6th year here as a staff and I was an assistant to Chris Ross here for 3 years before that. I played for Coach Ross and got to come back and coach here at the same place I played. Great influence on me and how to really devote yourself to a program. I was also lucky enough to spend some time with Coach Ryan Meadows at North Pitt for 3 years and now we coach Pitt County Post 39 American Legion together. I am so privileged to be around the coaches we have in Pitt County.  Many times the first and last person I talk to every day are one of RV or Coach Meadows. So much knowledge that I can get from each and every conversation with those guys.

Who have been some of the most memorable players and teams you’ve had the opportunity to coach?  What makes them stand out?

The teams that stand out the most are the 2014 and the 2017 team. 2014 was our first year and those guys really bought into what we’re doing as a staff and played for the conference championship against North Lenoir late in the year. We went on to win a playoff game and unfortunately got beat by Coach Hill and Evan Voliva at Currituck. 2017 was a very young team. Many of our seniors this year were sophomores starting for the first time that year. They were young and really hungry. They really didn’t know what they were apart of when we made it to the 3rd Round that year, but it was a great run.

Clay Wilson(PCC) is a guy that stood out for us in our years here. He was an absolute bulldog on the mound. Just wanted the ball in every big situation. Dakota Delisi(LCC) was another kid that really stood out on the mound. People remember him because of how unorthodox his motion was on the mound. Hunter Cannon (NC Wesleyan) was a catcher we had a few years back.  Best throwing catcher I’ve ever had. First and Thirds got really simple that year. Throw em’ out every time.

Rivalries and competition can sometimes be intense.  But good coaches recognize and appreciate an opponent who brings out the best in them.  Which teams and coaches in your career have you found to be the most challenging to face?

North Lenoir has always been the team that has been a big game for us. We had some really good battles those first few years in the conference. They are so well coached and the tradition of winning there is unbelievable. All our Pitt County rivalries are awesome too. Playing North Pitt and DH Conley are always big time, and you can’t talk about rivalries at AG without mentioning Farmville Central.

SHORT TAKES

What is your favorite part of practice?

Mass Fungos with throws.

What is your favorite position or skill to coach?  Favorite drill? Infielders and Ozzie Drill with or without a short fungo involved.

What does your program do on game day that is unique or special?

We have a local church (Elm Grove Free Will Baptist) right near the school that provides our baseball and softball teams with pre-game meals before home conference games. It’s incredible and our guys love it!

What is your favorite uniform and hat look for your program?

Short Grey Pants with Striped Socks, Green Tops, and Grey Hat.

What do you consider to be the best part of your facility at Ayden-Grifton High School?

We have some old school bleachers that someone made for the school many years ago. They are set up high and really big. It’s a unique feel for fans and players.

SPEED ROUND

  • When your team is hitting –  coach 3B or dugout? 3B 
  • When you give signals to hitters – signs or wrist bands? Wrist Bands and we still mess it up.
  • When your guy hits a HR  – high five or fist bump? Fist bump all day.
  • When you are in uniform – ankle length pants or high socks? Depends on home or away and what the seniors pick.
  • When you reach in your back pocket – stopwatch or no stopwatch? Stopwatch.
  • When you are marking your field – chalk or painted lines? Really crooked painted lines.

Thanks to Coach Skinner for sharing with us! Impact Baseball wishes him and his programs all the best the rest of the way in the 2019 season!

On The Field: Richard Foy

Date: April 24, 2019
By: Eric Leary

Impact Baseball is joined by Richard Foy of New Hanover High School, in Wilmington, NC, for this edition of On the Field. Coach Foy has led the Wildcats to great heights as one of the premier programs in the state. Learn more about him and his program in the following responses to our questions.

At this point of the 2019 season how would you say it’s going? Based on your pre-season expectations how is your team’s progress towards those goals it may have set?

We have pitched and defended like I thought we could. We have been a bit inconsistent offensively. Probably should give opposing pitchers credit for that.

Weather is always an issue for baseball. This season has definitely presented some challenges.  How have you adapted to the weather?

We try to control what we can control. Weather is the ultimate uncontrollable.  We can always find a way to get some work in.

Who are the players in your program going on to play at the next level?  Also, who on your team deserves to get some attention from those looking for top players?

Kyle Smith to UNC
Blake Walston to NC State
Jac Croom to UNCW
Alex Sniffen to NC Central
Mac Hutchins to Peace

Seniors Jonathan Manis and Alec Cortner are college guys still looking for the right fit.

How long have you been the head baseball coach at New Hanover High School?  And what other stops or sports have you made on your coaching journey? Additionally, who have been some influences in your coaching development?

I am in my eleventh year at New Hanover. I’ve coached at one level or another for 35+ years. Former UNCW coach Bobby Guthrie was a huge influence. Other than that, I’ve grabbed bits and pieces from hundreds of great coaches through the years.

Who have been some of the most memorable players and teams you’ve had the opportunity to coach? What makes them stand out?

I can’t start a list for fear of leaving someone out. Every player on last year’s State Championship team will always be special. The kids on the 2012 and 2013 Post 10 American Legion teams created some great memories. My favorite player of all time is my son Sam. The opportunity to coach him here at New Hanover was a true blessing.

Rivalries and competition can sometimes be intense. But good coaches recognize and appreciate an opponent who brings out the best in them. Which teams and coaches in your career have you found to be the most challenging to face?

All of the guys in our league are very good coaches and great people. They all keep you grinding and make it hard to win games.

SHORT TAKES

What is your favorite part of practice?

Seeing a player do something that he couldn’t do when he came into the program.

What is your favorite position or skill to coach? Favorite drill?

Probably enjoy working with hitters the most. Melting a pitch on the barrel is the ultimate in this game. I like helping the guys figure out how to do it more often.

What does your program do on game day that is unique or special?

Ha! We are pretty boring. Probably nothing.

What is your favorite uniform and hat look for your program?

I prefer our road look.  Black and orange top on gray pants.

What do you consider to be the best part of your facility at New Hanover High School?

I think we have one of the top high school facilities in NC. Thanks to the guys with City Parks who help us keep it looking good.

SPEED ROUND

When your team is hitting –  coach 3B or dugout? Coach 3B

When you give signals to hitters – signs or wrist bands?  Signs

When your guy hits a HR  – high five or fist bump?  Handshake

When you are in uniform – ankle length pants or high socks?  Ankle length

When you reach in your back pocket – stopwatch or no stopwatch? No stopwatch

When you are marking your field – chalk or painted lines? Paint

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Coach for his time and wishing him and his team all the best for the rest of the spring!

On The Field: Chris Adams

Date: April 17, 2019
By: Eric Leary

On today’s edition of On the Field, Chris Adams joins us to give a brief overview of his career, the season and much more.  He is the head baseball coach at Ledford High School in Davidson County.

At this point of the 2019 season how would you say it’s going? Based on your pre-season expectations how is your team’s progress towards those goals it may have set?

We are pleased to be 16-1 at this point in the season and at the top of our conference standings.  We have four very difficult conference games left and quite a bit can still happen. Our goal continues to be win the regular season championship and earn the highest possible seed we can heading into the state playoffs.  

Weather is always an issue for baseball.  This season has definitely presented some challenges.  How have you adapted to the weather?

We are fortunate to have a nice indoor hitting facility that we can visit off campus.  We have also tried to do as much as we can in the gym. Nothing beats being on the field and getting live practice but our kids have adapted as well as can be expected with all of the indoor practices we have had to have this season.

Who are the the players in your program going on to play at the next level?  Also, who on your team deserves to get some attention from those looking for top players?

Chris Villaman and Noah Soles have both committed to NC State University.  Tyler Smith has committed to Averett University. Jake Stroud is still undecided.  I think we have quite a few young players that may eventually get opportunities moving forward.

How long have you been the head baseball coach at Ledford High School?  And what other stops or sports have you made on your coaching journey? Additionally, who have been some influences in your coaching development?

Head Baseball Coach From 2002-2008 and 2014-2019.
Head Football Coach From 2010-Present
Head Baseball Coach at High Point Central 1995-1997

I have relied on many different coaches to help get me to where I am today.  Some of the most influential have been Kenny Angel, Gary Whitman, Rick Larrick, Kenny Carter, Danny Thomas, Cliff Butcher, Dickie Cline and Rob Shore.

Who have been some of the most memorable players and teams you’ve had the opportunity to coach?  What makes them stand out?

All of the teams I have coached have been memorable in their own way and generally successful. The 2003, 2008 and 2016 teams all advanced to the Regional Finals. Of course, the most memorable team would be last year’s team which advanced to the state finals for the first time in school history.    

Rivalries and competition can sometimes be intense. But good coaches recognize and appreciate an opponent who brings out the best in them. Which teams and coaches in your career have you found to be the most challenging to face?

We had some battles with East Rutherford and Coach Reynolds in the 2003 and 2008 Regional Finals. North Davidson has always been a tough opponent for us under Coach Meadows and Coach Griffin. We had some great playoff games with Coach Hodge and his Shelby Crest teams. Of course, I gained a high amount of respect for Coach Harwood and the Whiteville program after playing them last year in the state finals. Earlier in my career Coach Goodson at West Stokes, Coach Kesler at North Rowan, Coach Tricarico at East Davidson and Coach Brown at Central Davidson were always tough teams and tough coaches to compete against.

SHORT TAKES

What is your favorite part of practice?

Working on defensive situations with live runners and a coach hitting balls. I also enjoy our coach pitch scrimmages where we can work on different situations both offensively and defensively.

What is your favorite position or skill to coach?  Favorite drill?

I enjoy working with all of the position players.  I spend a lot of time with the pitchers and catchers during the preseason. I probably spend more time with the Infielders than any other group once the season starts.  

My favorite drill is working with the hitters in the cage while I am throwing front toss.    

What does your program do on game day that is unique or special?

Each player takes an “All In” chip before we start our warm up process. They keep the chip in their pocket and turn it in when we have our final team meeting signifying they are “All In” with the team and whatever it takes to win.

What is your favorite uniform and hat look for your program?

White Pants, Black Top, White Hat

SPEED ROUND

  • When your team is hitting –  coach 3B or dugout? Dugout
  • When you give signals to hitters – signs or wrist bands? Both
  • When your guy hits a HR  – high five or fist bump? Depends on the situation
  • When you are in uniform – ankle length pants or high socks? ankle length
  • When you reach in your back pocket – stopwatch or no stopwatch? the stopwatch is either in my pocket or tied to the fence
  • When you are marking your field – chalk or painted lines? painted lines

We appreciate you taking the time to share with us Coach Adams!  We’ll be tracking you and your program as the 2019 season rolls on!

On The Field: Jake Smith

Date: April 10, 2019
By: Eric Leary

Impact Baseball continues to take a deeper look at some of the top high school baseball coaches with our “On the Field” series. Today we are checking in on Jake Smith of Randleman High School, in Randleman, NC.

At this point of the 2019 season how would you say it’s going? Based on your pre-season expectations how is your team’s progress towards those goals it may have set?

The season is going great so far.  We are working towards our goals everyday.  Need to continue getting better throughout the course of the season.  

Weather is always an issue for baseball. This season has definitely presented some challenges. How have you adapted to the weather?

Weather is always a challenge for this time of year.  We just try to take advantage of good days and make the best of the bad days. It’s frustrating but we can’t control it.  

Who are the the players in your program going on to play at the next level? Also, who on your team deserves to get some attention from those looking for top players?

Matt Kemp 2020 (NC State), Trey Cooper 2020 (NC State), Nick Neal 2019 (Walters State CC). Ramsey Petty, Dominick Poole and Dawson Edwards are all 2020 prospects.

How long have you been the head baseball coach at Randleman High School? And what other stops or sports have you made on your coaching journey? Additionally, who have been some influences in your coaching development?

This is my 6th year being the head coach at Randleman.  Big influences in my coaching development have come from my high school coach Charlie Gamble 3rd, All of my coaches at ECU, along with my coaches in the Oakland A’s organization.

Who have been some of the most memorable players and teams you’ve had the opportunity to coach?  What makes them stand out?

All of the teams have been great to be a part of here. We have great young men that play the game the right way. 2015 was a special year.  We came up one game short from winning the state. That team was led by Trevor Clemons, Caleb Webster, Bailey Welch, Tanner Routh, Evan Walls,  Zac Kemp and others. That team played with so much passion and energy unlike I’ve coached before. It was definitely a year to remember.

Rivalries and competition can sometimes be intense. But good coaches recognize and appreciate an opponent who brings out the best in them. Which teams and coaches in your career have you found to be the most challenging to face?

We have a great rivalry with Southeast Guilford. I know those coaches really well over there. My high school coach is an assistant coach along with his son. They always have a great team. Kids from both teams know each other well since it’s a short distance apart. Both teams respect each other and it’s always a great game to be apart of.  

SHORT TAKES

What is your favorite part of practice? Throwing BP

What is your favorite position or skill to coach?  Catching

What is your favorite uniform and hat look for your program? All orange with blue hats

What do you consider to be the best part of your facility at Randleman High School? All of it

SPEED ROUND

  • When your team is hitting –  coach 3B or dugout? 3B
  • When you give signals to hitters – signs or wrist bands? Signs
  • When your guy hits a HR  – high five or fist bump? Handshake
  • When you are in uniform – ankle length pants or high socks? Ankle
  • When you reach in your back pocket – stopwatch or no stopwatch? Stopwatch
  • When you are marking your field – chalk or painted lines? Painted

We here at Impact want to thank Coach Smith for his time to share about himself and his program.  All the best to you and the Tigers!

On The Field: Gary Nail

Date: April 3, 2019
By: Eric Leary

On this edition of On the Field, Impact Baseball is joined by Head Coach Gary Nail, of Reagan High School, in Pfafftown, NC outside Winston-Salem.  Let’s get right to it!

At this point of the 2019 season how would you say it’s going? Based on your pre-season expectations how is your team’s progress towards those goals it may have set?

I would say, so far, it is going pretty good. Still early and we definitely have a ways to go to reach our season’s goals. Our guys are working hard everyday to get better and that is really all the coaching staff  can ask for.

Weather is always an issue for baseball.  This season has definitely presented some challenges.  How have you adapted to the weather?

We have been going inside and hitting in our cages. Pitchers have been getting their work done off the indoor mounds as well. We get outside as much as we can. Sometimes we have to set up an infield in the outfield to get defensive reps. It has been a little of a challenge but we are making it work.

Who are the the players in your program going on to play at the next level?  Also, who on your team deserves to get some attention from those looking for top players?

We have two seniors who have signed to play at the next level. 1B/3B – Nick Leonard has signed to play at Coker College and OF/P – David Asbill has signed to play at Winston-Salem State. We have several other players who have committed to other schools as well. Juniors Danny Beal P/3B and CJ Boyd INF/P have committed to ECU. Sophomore Josh Hartle P/1B has committed to Wake Forest and Freshmen Carter Boyd P/INF/OF has committed to Florida.

Other players that I think deserve some attention are junior, Trevor Faulkner – 2B/SS and Sophomore, Colby Welborn – C/OF. Both are really good players that schools hopefully will start getting to know.

How long have you been the head baseball coach at Reagan High School?  And what other stops or sports have you made on your coaching journey? Additionally, who have been some influences in your coaching development?

This will be my seventh season as the head coach at Reagan. I started my head coaching career at North Stokes and continued it at North Surry and South Stokes before coming to Reagan. People who influence me in my coaching development would first of all be my parents. They instilled in me the value of hard work, responsibility, morals and ethics. Baseball wise, I would say Coach Barry Hall at East Surry probably had the biggest influence on me. I learned so much about how to run a baseball program.   

Who have been some of the most memorable players and teams you’ve had the opportunity to coach?  What makes them stand out?

Some of the most memorable players I have had the fortune to coach are Jordan and Dustin Ackley, Zach and Nick Conaway,Tim Smith, Conner Leonard, Spencer Holcomb, Will Sprinkle and Garrett Saylor. What made these players stand out, besides talent, was their character, work ethic and drive to get better. These are just a few. I have been really blessed to coach so many good players.

As far as teams, I would definitely have to say the 2002, 2003 and 2004 State Championship teams I had at South Stokes. These teams were special because of the bond they had with each other. They played as a team and each player did not care who got the credit. All they wanted to do was win. They has GREAT team chemistry, along with the overall talent that is rarely seen at the 1A level. Very special group!!

Rivalries and competition can sometimes be intense.  But good coaches recognize and appreciate an opponent who brings out the best in them.  Which teams and coaches in your career have you found to be the most challenging to face?

Coach Barry Hall’s East Surry teams were always a challenge. Well coached and always tough. Our conference, Central Piedmont, is a grind, week in and week out. Every team is well coached and you better be ready to go everyday.

SHORT TAKES

What is your favorite part of practice?

I would say it is when we do our fundamental defensive drill sets. I also really like what we call “Raider BP”. It is a high energy, competitive BP round.

What is your favorite position or skill to coach? Favorite drill?

I like coaching the infielders. My favorite drills are a 3 minute double play drill and our defensive drill sets.

What is your favorite uniform and hat look for your program?

My favorite uniform is our teal jersey with our white pants and either our white or black hat.

What do you consider to be the best part of your facility at Reagan High School?

I think the best part of our facility is the field itself. Our coaching staff puts a lot of time and work into our field and I really like the playing surface we have.

SPEED ROUND

  • When your team is hitting –  coach 3B or dugout? 3B
  • When you give signals to hitters – signs or wrist bands? Wrist Bands
  • When your guy hits  a HR – high five or fist bump? High Five
  • When you are in uniform  – ankle length pants or high socks? Ankle length pants
  • When you reach in your back pocket – stopwatch or no stopwatch? No stopwatch
  • When you are marking your field – chalk or painted lines? Painted lines

We are grateful here at Impact Baseball for Coach Nail in not only sharing with us today but also all he does for his players and the game!  Best of luck the rest of the way Coach!

3 Go-To Grip Strength Exercises

3 Go-To Grip Strength Exercises
By: Andy Partin

Stronger hands, wrists, forearms and overall grip have obvious benefits in baseball especially in swinging a bat but also can increase velocity and prevent injury by supporting the elbow.

Throwing a baseball requires plenty of wrist and finger snap. The stronger both are the more spin you can create on the ball – increasing velocity. Same with a bat. The stronger your hands and wrists are the more bat-speed you’ll have.

Forearm muscles are divided up in to two basic groups:

1) Forearm Flexors are better known for “grip strength” in forms of “isometric” grip strength, like holding something heavy in your hand and (B.) “concentric” grip strength, like crushing someone’s hand when you shake it (closing your hand against resistance).

2) Forearm Extensors are responsible for extending the wrist, like when throwing a baseball. Doing bicep curls, reverse curls or hammer curls will only partially work the forearm extensors where reverse wrist rolling  train the muscle group completely and very directly.

When recommending a training program for baseball players, I like to recommend 3 different types: rolling, gripping and timed holds. This allows you to train the hands, wrists and forearms in several different ways.

Exercises:

1) “Rolling”

Most baseball players have performed the wrist rollers where you roll the weighted rope/line up round the roller. Remember, it’s equally as important to “roll” the weight back down as it is to roll it up.

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2) “Gripping”

Squeezing grippers like the Captain’s of Crush is a great exercise for grip strength. Mixing it up by squeezing a gripper 10 or 20 times to fatigue and then performing a squeezed “hold” for 30 seconds (for example).

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3) “Pinch Blocks”

These are the best for isometric grip strength. If you have smooth bumper plates you can also pinch-hold those as well.

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I recommend training grip strength sub-maximally every other day (3 x per week) at the end of your workouts or away from your workouts throughout the year.

Important Note: You will need weighted plates for both the wrist roller and pinch block. I’d suggest 1 x 2.5 lbs, 1 x 5 lbs and 1 x 5 lbs to start with.

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On The Field: Joey Miriello

Date: March 28, 2019
By: Eric Leary

Today’s edition of On the Field, the Impact Baseball is checking in with Joey Miriello of Triton High School, in Erwin, NC.  

At this point of the 2019 season how would you say it’s going? Based on your pre-season expectations how is your team’s progress towards those goals it may have set?

Right now we are (5-4) …  I am pleased with where we are right now.  By most standards we are young and somewhat inexperienced, we have the approach of taking game by game and try not to get ahead of ourselves.  Our main goal is to get better with each game and learn from any mistakes we might have made the previous game mental or physical and them correct them.  So far, we have done a good job of this.

Weather is always an issue for baseball.  This season has definitely presented some challenges.  How have you adapted to the weather?

I can’t remember a season that has been this wet in my 15 years of coaching.  We have had to adapt by moving quite a few practices indoors, and try and get outside as much as we can. Our guys have done a good job adapting to these changes and I don’t feel it has affected us in any negative way.

Who are the the players in your program going on to play at the next level?  Also, who on your team deserves to get some attention from those looking for top players?

Parker Crews Sr. OF has signed with Mid-Atlantic Christian University Colton Neighbors Sr. OF has had offers and interest, but has not made a decision on his future yet.  Dalen Thompson Soph. SS, Ethan Hedgepeth Jr. INF, Grayson Bradham Jr. C, and Hayden Pope Fresh. RHP among a few other underclassmen have the ability to okay at the next level.

How long have you been the head baseball coach at Triton High School?  And what other stops or sports have you made on your coaching journey? Additionally, who have been some influences in your coaching development?  

I have been the head coach at Triton for 11 years and was the Head Coach at Douglas Byrd High School for one year at the age of 22 right out of college before I decided to come to Triton.  While at Triton I was also the Head Soccer coach for 7 years but gave it up when my first daughter was born 6 years ago. Without a doubt my Dad has been my biggest influence when it comes to coaching.  He was a high school baseball and basketball coach in the 60’s and 70’s. He has always been there for advice and guidance. Other than him my college coach Tom Austin was and continues to be a great source of knowledge, I definitely would not be where I am without both of them.

Who have been some of the most memorable players and teams you’ve had the opportunity to coach?  What makes them stand out?

My first year as head coach in 2008 we went 19-6 and went pretty deep in the playoffs.  That year was very memorable due to the success we had. Our 2014 team won the conference regular season and tournament championship which was the first championship the baseball team had won in 20 years.  There have been so many players that have made my job so enjoyable and memorable but these few stand out because not only were they great players, they had great work ethics and also were great young men on and of the field.  Ethan Strickland (Wingate and Brunswick CC), Dillon Stewart (UNCG, Brunswick CC), Trent Fennell (Barton, Colorado Rockies), Houston Hamilton (Brunswick CC) Aaron Hedgepeth (Mt. Olive).

Rivalries and competition can sometimes be intense.  But good coaches recognize and appreciate an opponent who brings out the best in them.  Which teams and coaches in your career have you found to be the most challenging to face?

I have always enjoyed the rivalries we have with South Johnston (Aaron Parnell) Harnett Central (Lance Honeycutt) and Midway (Jason Fussell)  It seems like year to year regardless of what type of season expectations we may have had our games are always intense, emotional, and are always great games.

SHORT TAKES

What is your favorite part of practice?

My favorite parts are cutoffs, backups, tandems, and situational ground balls and fly balls.  You can cover so many things defensively with these drills and put the needed amount of pressure on my players to make the correct mental and physical decisions.

What is your favorite position or skill to coach?  Favorite drill?

Catchers is my favorite position to coach and my favorite drill is fungo blocks.

What does your program do on game day that is unique or special?  

My players always meet in the team room about an hour before they are required to be there and play video games or just eat lunch together. That gives them an opportunity to relax a little bit before things start to get serious and it also helps build team unity.

What is your favorite uniform and hat look for your program?  

We have somewhat of a throwback look with the knicker pants which are white with a white jersey, blue stirrups with black trim and a white black and blue hat. That seems to be my players favorite uniform and it is also mine.

What do you consider to be the best part of your facility at Triton High School?  

It is tough to pick one thing about our facility because in my opinion we have one of the nicest facilities around. But if I had to choose one thing it would be our team room. We built a team room about five years ago and it could rival most college team rooms.

SPEED ROUND

  • When your team is hitting –  coach 3B or dugout?  Coach 3B
  • When you give signals to hitters – signs or wrist bands? Definitely signs
  • When your guy hits a HR  – high five or fist bump? High five
  • When you are in uniform – ankle length pants or high socks? Both
  • When you reach in your back pocket – stopwatch or no stopwatch? Stop watch
  • When you are marking your field – chalk or painted lines? Painted lines

Thanks Coach Miriello.  We here at Impact Baseball appreciate your time to share with us and we appreciate all that you do for the game!