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Baseball coach revives program

Under management of new head varsity baseball coach Bill McGowen, the team has undergone several changes. Paired with the physical changes to the field, baseball players have a new 13-page handbook that includes hair requirements and attitude expectations.

McGowen focuses on three philosophical goals for the program: to provide players with Christ-centered, fundamentals-based coaching, to convey a standard of player conduct and appearence that respects the game of baseball and to provide the practice facilities and equipment that seems necessary to compete at a higher level.

?I think coach McGowen really wants our team to improve,? Anthony Wilson, ?08, said. ?He is helping me with my pitching mechanics since this is my first year as pitcher.?

Senior captain Greg Kilgore anticipates improved fundamentals and overall knowledge of the game.

?I am really looking forward to this season with McGowen,? Kilgore said. ?I hope my senior year will be great. He wants to continue to have a successful program like years past.?

The physical repairs to the field includes two 15′ x 80′ installments of astro turf, weighing over 800 lbs. each. Twelve players, parents and coaches picked up the recycled turf for the new batting cage and bullpen at Buchanan High.

“This new cage surface will allow players the opportunity to hit outside, even in wet conditions, thus reducing wear and tear on the gym floor caused by indoor practices,” McGowen said. “It will allow us the luxury of hitting real baseballs (rather than whiffle balls) from live arms which should translate to more success on the field.”

Players interested in preseason practice met on the field after school during late January.

?This will be my first time playing for a school team,? Dustin McDonald, ?09, said. ?I am going to enjoy improving my skills this year. We have been practicing for three weeks now and I have learned so much already.?

This will be the first year the team holds a fundraising dinner and auction from 3-9 P.M. on Feb. 17. In addition, they will host the inaugural alumni game on Feb. 24.

“The fundraiser dinner serves two purposes,” McGowen said. “It unites families, alumni, and supporters of Fresno Christian baseball and allows us the opportunity to share the coaching staff’s philosophy and vision with them. Second, it raises funds that will be used to upgrade out baseball facilities and, in turn, hopefully attract new students and athletes to our school.”

The team will begin competing in the first game of the Chowchilla Invitational Tournament on Feb. 27.

?The goal this year is to strengthen the baseball system,? McGowen said. ?The improvements will be tools for the players, we do not expect them to become all-stars after one day.?

For more information on other campus repairs check out Michelle Rose’s Feb. 6, article, Overdue renovation updates tennis courts.

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