Six Ringgold baseball starters back
Second-year Ringgold baseball coach Lou Pasquale has always had an old school, team-first mentality.
This year is not going to be any different.
"Our expectations are to get better on a daily basis and to perform at a level that shows that we are getting better," Pasquale said. "We don't get caught up in individual honors and if the team does well, the individual honors will follow."
In fact, Pasquale is only worried about one team in Section X-AAA, and that is the only team that he has something to do with.
"I don't get involved in thinking who the top teams are in the section," he said. "There are too many variables involved in any sport for me to speculate who is better than who.
"With our record last year, it's clear that we have to improve in every area of the game," Pasquale added of his team that went 7-10. "I believe that solid pitching and defense wins a lot for you in high school baseball."
The Rams return six starters and all of them are playing new positions.
The returning starters include seniors Tyler Drusbasky (center field), third baseman Steve Chapars, and catcher Josh Baker as well as juniors Jeff Toth (shortstop), Justin Rich (left field and pitcher), and Mike Cramer (right field and pitcher).
Senior Mike Beveridge will man first base while two more seniors, John Vamos and Sean Stoner, will both see time at second base.
A pair of sophomores, Nick Maciejewski and Devin Fallenstein, will join Rich and Cramer on the mound.
As far as the goal of improving this season, Pasquale was quick to point out that there is more to getting better than just the on-field performance.
"We have to get better in every aspect of the game physically and mentally through stressing fundamentals at practice and by continuous verbal coaching," he said. "We believe that you need to be mentally stronger than your opponent just as much as physically stronger.
"All things being equal, mental toughness wins out more often than not. Conventional amnesia is one of my favorite terms. You can't let bad things bother you to the extent that affect your future play.
"You are only as good as your next play."