Despite loss, coach pleased with progress By: David Lias
Plain Talk Even though his team lost during Saturdayâ�?�?s opening day celebration of youth baseball in Vermillion, it was difficult for coach Glen McDonald to feel disappointed. His Vermillion VFW 15 & 16 team made its share of mistakes on the field that day. But it also did a lot of things well, thanks mainly to pure competitive spirit. A wet, cold spring has raised havoc with the teamâ�?�?s practice schedule. Its season-opening games â�?�? a double-header â�?�? was scheduled Thursday, May 29 in Elk Point, but severe thunderstorms had people huddling in basements for shelter that night. Saturdayâ�?�?s game was the first time the team competed this year. And they faced a relentless pitcher on the opposing Lennox team. â�?�?But our pitcher threw very well today,â�? McDonald said. â�?�?Fundamentally, we made some mistakes. It was our first game. We made five errors in todayâ�?�?s game, and of the seven runs that Lennox scored, I would guess that maybe one or two were even earned. â�?�?We lacked a little bit of communication in the outfield,â�? he said, â�?�?and some other fundamental things that as we progress in the season, we will definitely work on and get better at.â�? McDonaldâ�?�?s goal this summer is to teach those fundamentals of the sport to all of his players. â�?�?Whether itâ�?�?s hitting the cutoff, knowing what position you are at in the game, how many people are on, if itâ�?�?s hit to me with one out and runners at first and second, what to do with the baseball â�?¦ just those fundamentals.â�? McDonald said more than execution out on the field is important. â�?�?Camaraderie, sportsmanship, and last but not least, I want the kids to have fun. Thatâ�?�?s all very important,â�? he said. â�?�?The more fun they have, the better it seems they play the game. Life is very short, and these kids are going to be grown up and gone before you know it. I think the more they enjoy baseball, the better they are going to play.â�? When McDonaldâ�?�?s son turned 5, he began coaching him in baseball. Today, heâ�?�?s 15. â�?�?I donâ�?�?t know where the time has gone,â�? he said. â�?�?As I reflect now, Iâ�?�?ve got two years left with him. The biggest thing I emphasize to the kids is do your best, and have fun. â�?�?I love kids and I love baseball,â�? McDonald said. â�?�?And with that combination of the two, I want to teach them the fundamentals, and also have them enjoy their summer.â�?