The baseball season came to an end last week for Van-Far after a first round loss in the Class 1, District 11 Tournament.
The Indians traveled to South Shelby and left with an 11-1 loss to Paris.
Van-Far’s loss meant it was the final game for seniors Lucas Robinson, Austin Speagle, and Nathan Kraft.
“I wish all three boys the best of luck,” said Van-Far head coach Wes Rowden.
In the loss, the Indians defense committed four errors.
Van-Far’s pitching gave up three home runs in the wind over the right field fence along with six walks.
Rowden said the wind was blowing the way of the short right field fence and Paris was able to take advantage.
Van-Far scored its lone run when Robinson hit into a fielders choice. Paris was able to get Klayton Haddock out at second base on a force out but not before Speagle scored.
In looking ahead, Rowden is concerned that his players have fewer options to get better over the summer by playing baseball. He noted that travel teams are taking over summer programs but costs from $300-$1,500 and some players have played on since they were age 8.
Some of the teams are also having to travel 30-60 miles away to play games.
“So it’s difficult for our kids to get on competitive teams to develop,” Rowden said.
He did say the players can play a lot of catch to improve arm strength, which was a weakness on his team this season. He also said playing whiffle ball will help improve hand/eye coordination.
Rowden said a few of his players are playing on summer teams and are taking it upon themselves to improve their skills.
“The other boys have to really take it upon themselves to improve their skills,” Rowden sadded. “I don’t care what sport you want to get better in. You have to take it upon yourself to improve and hopefully these younger boys are motivated to do so. I enjoyed coaching them as they are a fun bunch to coach and they do try hard, and hopefully they will work on their game and we will be able to be competitive next year.”
Rowden will be without assistant coach Don Aulbert next season, who is taking his talents to the Odessa School District.
“He was a great help and assistant coach this year and I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated his help this year,” Rowden added.
“Best of luck to you coach.”