WARRENSBURG - Several weeks ago, a dozen male high school athletes shoveled snow together, tossing heavy, soggy slush off their baseball practice field so they could start playing sooner.
Warrensburg Varsity Baseball Coach Rex Reynolds said the dedication and enthusiasm the players demonstrated in shoveling snow was a compelling indication this season would be a competitive one for the 2010 Warrensburg Central Varsity Baseball Team.
"The guys were excited to get started as early as possible," he said. "Now, they like to be on the field whenever they can - it's even tough to get them to quit practice."
This enthusiasm, Reynolds said, has potential to develop the teamwork and skills necessary for a winning season, he said.
"We've got a roster of players, especially the Seniors, who are anxious to play and achieve success," he said.
Last year, Warrensburg tallied an impressive season, ending up 10-4 in the Adirondack League's Western division, runner up to Lake George.
It was a tough battle, but the tenacious, talented 2009 Burgher team pulled it off.
This year, the team has seven seasoned Seniors: Brendan Frye, Mike Perrone, Jason Power, Ben Nicols, Donovan Santisteban, Dante Siletti, and Tyler Springer.
A leading pitcher for the team, Brendan Frye, is a standout athlete, having served as football quarterback and the basketball team's top scorer. Shortstop and pitcher Mike Perrone is also top notch in various sports as is Jason Power and the rest of the Senior crew.
This experience - and the chemistry they've developed playing on various teams - will serve them well during this season, Reynolds said.
This team has already performed well, demonstrating a steely defense and some offensive power.
The squad defeated Bolton March 31, and fought to the finish April 1 against the far-larger Hudson Falls - an action-packed game in which the Burghers had lots of extra-base hits and good
base running as well as some sharp double-play work showing off the promise of their defense.
Against Bolton, talented Junior pitcher John Joseph showed his stuff, and it was good. He recorded 15 strikeouts against the Eagles, which is a solid beginning for the year, Reynolds said.
One of their rarer attributes is likely to give them a boost, Reynolds said.
No less than three players - Brendan Frye, Lucas Nelson and Mike Perrone - are skilled switch hitters, he said.
"This is one of those teams that's generating excitement about the upcoming season," he said, noting they "hang out" together both on and off the field, which bodes well for their team chemistry.
"Our goal is to be competitive every single night, no matter who we're playing," he said. "Now, the name of the game is to get them to 'gel' as a team."