Baseball coaches find new ways to challenge their players


Jake Pfeiffer

Senior Clay Schrader practices batting in the cage with junior catcher Danny Vogel

Evelyn Zwicky, Sports Editor

With 14 returning seniors and multiple college commits, the boys baseball team is preparing themselves for their upcoming season.

The team were conference champions last year with a 22-7 season. At the start of this season, they are focusing on working hard every practice and keeping a healthy mindset to bring them further than before.  

“Our plan is always to win as many games as possible,” head coach Mike Stock said, “But this group is about succeeding and we’re just trying not to skip the steps necessary to play as well as possible.”

All team captains this year are committed to play in college. Colin Barczi is committed to Vanderbilt University, Pambos Nicoloudes to University Illinois, Chicago and Chris McCormick to Central Iowa Junior College. 

“[The captains] are all planning to move on beyond Naperville Central,” Stock said, “There are coaches who want them to be a part of their program because they’re talented kids.” 

Many returning players are focused on more independent training to allow them to work on what is going to help them the most individually.

“There is a transition [from last season] to more lenient training because [Stock] trusts us and everything that we do,” McCormack said, “It’s nice to have that flexibility.” 

Stock and the team recognize that baseball is a mental game, so they have started to focus some of their training on building good mentality when it comes to performance 

“The main thing we are focusing on is our mental stoplight,” McCormack said, “The green one is when you’re confident and on top of your game, but when you start to lose that a little you go into the yellow zone. So [we’re learning] about the stops that you can take to put yourself in a routine to get in that green zone and how you shift your teammates back into their green zone.” 

The team hopes to apply these strategies to move forward in the season and go farther this season then they did last. 

“We are looking to make a deep playoff run this year,” Nicoloudes said, “The last two years have been upsetting for us, but we’ve learned a lot from those games and we know what we need to do to win big games.”