March 26, 2009
By Mal Boright
About three weeks ago, the familiar sounds of bouncing basketballs in Champlain Valley Union High School’s Bremner Gymnasium came to an end, along with the conclusion of the winter sports season.
Observer photo by Greg Duggan
Chrissi Whitaker awaits a pitch from Emily Himberg during varsity softball practice on Monday afternoon.
Observer photo by Greg Duggan
Varsity softball players Heather McLaughlin (left) and Susan Parmelee run through a drill on Monday.
Observer photo by Mal Boright
Tim Albertson, the new varsity baseball coach at Champlain Valley Union High, watches over Monday's praactice..
Visitors to the gym late Monday afternoon were greeted instead by the ping of softballs meeting metal bats as coaches Corinna Hussey and Katherine Riley put their varsity and junior varsity girls softball teams through an indoor practice.
This week the softball team had the gym from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., with the baseball team taking over at 5 o’clock.
Hussey is working with 14 players at the varsity level in preparation for opening day at home April 14. A scrimmage against Mount Mansfield Union is slated for Saturday, April 11.
“We have a younger group this year,” the coach observed.
Hussey was able to get the team outside one day last week.
“Our field had dried off pretty well,” she said.
But mid-20s temperatures on Monday drove the team back into the gym.
New head man for baseball
First-year head baseball coach Tim Albertson put his team through its indoor paces late Monday afternoon.
“We had 50 try out for the two teams (varsity and jayvee), which is the biggest number in a few years,” Albertson said.
The coaches kept 18 at the varsity level and 19 on the jayvees.
The coach noted the varsity team will be young, with but four seniors currently on the squad.
Although this is the first year Albertson has the reins at CVU, he has worked with many of the players in the past through his coaching of 16-and-under players at the Champlain Edge AAU baseball program.
No doubt, like most high school baseball (and softball) coaches this time of year, Albertson keeps checking for that warm south wind to condition the grassy surfaces for outdoor drills.
The news concerning the CVU baseball field Monday was not promising for early activity.
“The field is wet and there is still frost in the ground,” said assistant coach and field guru Onnie Matthews.
Thus it will be indoor work for at least the next few days for the Redhawks.
Albertson said the one thing he wants of his players is “to understand situations.”
Thus, there may be a lot of repetitive drills so the little things — such as throwing to the proper cutoff man or base, knowing when to take the extra base and so many other details of the game — become ingrained.
The first test for the players will take place April 9, when Vergennes High comes to CVU for a scrimmage. Another scrimmage with Mount Mansfield Union is set for April 11.