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.
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.
- 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!