What it Takes to Make the Wadsworth High School Boys Baseball Team


On Monday, January 20, the students at Wadsworth High School had the day off for President’s Day. But that does not mean it was a day off for the baseball team; in fact, this was just the beginning. The team had to be at the Wadsworth High School track by 12:00 in the afternoon to start their four-day tryout.
Before any specific baseball skills were evaluated, the team ran through timed sprints and weightlifting in order to set a baseline for improvement and to show overall athleticism.
“Monday we did 60-yard dashes and…you can either deadlift or you could bench,” said senior and varsity catcher Daniel Hall. “With 60s it really just measures your top speed and measures how fast you get going on see how fast you really are. That way, the coaches can get a good gauge of if you’re going to be able to steal bases or if you’re going to be more of a liability on the bases,” Hall said.
It may seem like a simple drill but every little thing is graded.

“In the 60-yard dashes we learn how to run the bases, fast,” Ethan Green, a junior at Wadsworth High School and current infielder for the team explained.
Green said that while many think of baseball as just hitting the ball as hard as you can, there is a lot more to it. Speed is a huge factor in how quickly an athlete can run the bases.
Tuesday, January 21 the athletes saw themselves indoors in both the hitting facility and the YMCA field house. The athletes split up their practice into groups, with half of the group split up with half practicing hitting in the hitting facility, and the other half practicing fielding ground balls in the field house. The team cannot practice on the actual field yet due to weather conditions and the field being too wet.
“[In the field house] we did exit velo, and that’s really just a measure of strength and seeing how hard you can hit a ball because especially at the high school level if you’re not hitting the ball hard enough it’s not going to get through those gaps in the infield and you’re gonna have a hard time reaching the bases and getting like runners moved over,” Hall explained.
In the hitting facility, the team also worked on bunting and hitting off a tee to see the power the athletes had as well as their accuracy.
In the field house, the team focused on the throwing program. Green explained that the throwing program has been at the school for 10 years and has worked out really well for them.
On Wednesday the team was back at the field house and YMCA practicing. At the YMCA the team again worked on throwing and fielding with an emphasis on in-fielding. “On Wednesday we did, well It was more like a practice but we did pull-downs where you run and throw the balls as hard as you can and we just did a bunch of infield stuff,” Green added.
In the field house, the team continued hitting the ball and pull-downs. Seniors Aaron Keating and Jason Moore and junior Noah Gromofsky sat down and discussed what was going down Wednesday.
“So today and I guess all of tryouts we follow a rubric and today we did throwing, basically a run-down practice with some measurable stuff in there,” Moore said.
The emphasis on throwing velocity was echoed by Keating.
“Today we did pull downs, so you basically throw the ball as hard as you can and they clock the velocity on it,” Keating said. “We are getting ready to hit and field tomorrow.”
“This is basically just practice, we worked hard, pitchers worked on PFP or Pitching Field Practice to get ready for the season,” Gromofsky explained.
The group shared that the team feels very comfortable going into tryouts knowing the hard work they put in the off-season will show.
Thursday was the final day of tryouts. The team again saw themselves inside the facility and field house. Caleb Cikity, a sophomore at Wadsworth High School and current infielder for the team, gave his thoughts on Thursday’s tryout.
“Thursday we did fielding to test our arm accuracy. If you’re an infielder, you field the ball like an infielder and then throw into a net from about nine feet away like an infield throw in an outfield, you would feel like an outfielder and then throw from a net little farther way and I’m whatever group wasn’t doing the infield and they were in the facility hitting to get graded on hitting as well,” Cikity said. By now the coaches already have a solid thought on where everyone on the team will be playing. After looking intensely at the grading scale the coaches meet to determine teams and carrying capacity for each.
“So Coach [Pickard] is grading on a scale between zero and eight,” Hall said. “Zero is that you didn’t even do it. The only reason a guy wouldn’t do it is some guys don’t do certain stuff just from injury so a lot of it is based on a rubric that they have.”
Every little bit of an athlete’s game is graded, some more than others. From bunting to fielding to catching pop flies everything is accounted for.
“[We grade]…bunting which that’s really good with us because we play a lot of small ball, especially in close games…so that way you can have the bottom of the lineup flip the lineup over and get those top guys some really good opportunities to get some RBI’s,” Hall said.
Hall is one of the many athletes who put in a lot of time and effort during the postseason last summer. Athletes compete in programs and teams that are not run through the high school during the offseason. It’s very beneficial to the player to participate in the extra play to focus on their game.
Being a senior, Hall is definitely an athlete that the coaches look up to and expect to lead by example. At tryouts, Hall is telling his fellow teammates what to do, gets everyone involved, and makes sure everyone is using their time efficiently. Hall recently committed to playing baseball for Davenport University.
“From the college perspective it’s not gonna change anything as far as playing time and it really does take a lot of stress off because you now don’t have to worry about what am I doing next after my high school career is over,” Hall shared.
Athletes like Cikity and Green shared that it is very stressful not knowing where they will go after high school as of now.
Even though the team competes for the same spots, they all know they are one team.
“Since I played freshman last year and I didn’t really get to know them [the team] much I think it’s cooler I’ll be able to be surrounded by them more often,” Cikity shared.
Green understands that athletes like Cikity look up to him during tryouts and in season, and he needs to be a role model both on the field and in the facility.
“During tryouts or on the field I’m honest with them I don’t hold back. They have to learn what they did wrong and what they did right to learn how to do it better. I always pull people away from the drill, at least like the people on surrounded by others in shoulders, and I try and teach them to the best of my ability,” Green said.
The teams are now set and the season is about to begin. The team’s first scrimmage is on March 17 at home against Waynedale and their first game is on March 27 at home against Lake.

1.) Ethan Green (11) is pictured posing tossing the ball in the air. Green is a multiple-year varsity athlete and is often looked at as a role model on the field. Photo by Lauren Ball.

2.) Daniel Hall (12) posed for the media day photo shoot. Hall recently committed to Davenport University to be a catcher. Hall is extremely thankful and grateful for the opportunity to continue his baseball career at the collegiate level, and can’t wait to get started on his final high school season. Photo by Lauren Ball.

3.) Caleb Cikity (10) is pictured. Cikity played on the freshman team last year and is extremely excited to play on the JV team this year. Photo by Lauren Ball.