The Race for Roster Spots Begins

Pitcher Kevin Braudis throws a pitch during a game against FZW last season (file photo)
Pitcher Kevin Braudis throws a pitch during a game against FZW last season (file photo)

On Monday, Feb. 29, the fight for roster spots in spring sports teams will begin. From girls soccer to boys volleyball, track and field to baseball, there are underlying factors that nearly every coach and athlete at FHN looks for in a prospect.

“We look for kids who are good athletes and good students,” coach Mike Freedline of the baseball team said. “Attitude and hustle go a long way. They need to be committed to play as a team. We don’t worry about individual stats; our goal is to win.”

For nearly every sport, camaraderie and selflessness are essential pieces of the puzzle to put together the perfect team, not to mention success on the field and in the classroom. These words were reiterated by senior Austin Price of the boys volleyball team.

“We [the players] want guys willing to work hard and play as a team,” Price said. “We can have fun, but they have to know when to be serious. [The coaches want] determination, hard work, leadership and good attitudes.”

Each team has a different tryout process, but senior goalkeeper Emily Rish explained a portion of the arduous work that the players go through in order to ween the talent down to only the best of the bunch.

“We normally start with endurance,” Rish said, “and in the next few days, we move on to footwork, which is the key for most field players. The coaches usually judge based on footwork and if the players can do it or not.”

While the process, or even the older players or coaches, may seem intimidating, coaches and players alike urge young athletes to take a chance and try out for any sport they find appealing.

“The thing we tell most of them- even some of them that do- is that they need to work on their speed and strength,” Freedline said. “It’s especially in the younger players, they’re still growing a lot, and some haven’t grown as fast as others. They might not be ready their freshman year, but that doesn’t mean they won’t make it sophomore, junior or senior year. It all comes down to who is going to work harder in the offseason.”