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Buc Report: a spring sports roundup

February 7, 2014 at 7:59 am


By Carolyn Stransky’15

This week, the Buc Report sat down with each head coach of Beloit’s spring season sports to see how the teams have been preparing in the offseason, how they plan to tackle the challenges they will face in the upcoming season, and what they’re excited about moving forward.  

Baseball

Head Coach: Dave DeGeorge

Season starts: Sunday, March 9 in Leesburg, Fla., against Becker College

Home opener: Saturday, March 22 at noon against Wisconsin Lutheran College

Preseason preparation: “Our team had 10 practices, and then we began our offseason strength and conditioning program. The program we used was designed for the Milwaukee Brewers… with the use of this program, our players have become stronger, faster, and more explosive. Our players use the program over winter break right up until the start of practice on January 27.”

Most looking forward to: “… having so many returning players. Last year, our lineup consisted of several first-years and sophomores who were in a key role for the first time. In 2013, we gained valuable experience. I believe our team is ready to make a major step this season.”

Challenges foreseen: “… pitching depth. I’m confident our top 5 or 6 pitchers will perform very well. We need to develop another 2 or 3 pitchers who we can count on.”

Why people should come to the games: “We will have an entertaining team this spring. We have good team speed, and we will play with enthusiasm. I expect there will be a lot of exciting games.”

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Men’s Lacrosse

Head Coach: Bob Dignazio

Season and home opener: Saturday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. against Elmhurst College

Preseason preparation: “We practiced for 15 days from mid-September to mid-October, and scrimmaged two teams on the first day of fall break. (Then) our players followed a strength, conditioning, and Wall Ball program during the fall and winter. This is a big focus of our program, and they’re tested on it during the first day of practice.”

(The Wall Ball program is a type of training specifically for lacrosse where players throw a ball against the wall and practice different types of throws and catches with their sticks.)

Most looking forward to: “Last season, we had a team of all first-years. This year, we have a mix of guys with some experience and guys who’ll be playing their first college games. We only have four weeks until our first game… I’m looking forward to seeing how we develop on the field, especially early in the season.”

Challenges foreseen: “We have some new teams on our schedule this season. In addition, every team that we played last year will be much improved… Although we are a little older and more experienced than last year, we’re still a young team and need to stay disciplined and improve every day.”

Why people should come to games: “We are a young and exciting team. Our guys have been working hard all year for the spring season. If you haven’t seen a lacrosse game, come down to Strong Stadium.”

Additional details: “We have first-years and sophomores (24 total) from nine different states. This will be our last season competing as an Independent, and we move into the Midwest Lacrosse Conference in 2015.”

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Women’s Lacrosse

Head Coach: Meredith Newman

Season and home opener: Monday, March 3 at 4:30 p.m. against Wilmington College

Preseason preparation: “After our five weeks of practice from early September to mid-October, the team completes a 15-week workout plan focusing on the continuation of building up their strength and conditioning base. In addition to cardio and lifting, the team also coordinates captain’s practices to keep up their skills and team unity.”

Most looking forward to: “Watching us continue to evolve as a team and build off of last year’s success. We’re playing a lot of different teams this year, so it will be a good test of how we measure up with top teams across the country.”

Challenges foreseen: “With this just our second season and a team composed of mainly first-years and sophomores, it’s going to be all about positive communication and the team supporting and trusting each other, as well as focusing on the larger picture.”

Why people should come to games: “We have 10 of them at home! Who wouldn’t want to see the fastest game on two feet?”

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Softball

Head Coach: Kim Zarling

Season starts: Saturday, March 9 in Winter Haven, Fla., against Simpson College

Home opener: Saturday, March 22, double header against Loras College at 11 a.m. and Concordia University Chicago at 3 p.m.

Preseason Preparation: “In the fall we get one month of a nontraditional season, so we spent the first four weeks of school practicing three days a week out at the field. This is a time for us to evaluate skill sets and see where our new players fit in terms of position… October through January is the offseason time where we’re not able to coach the players, but we’ll give them workouts and things that they can be doing in a captain’s practice-type setting.”

Most looking forward to: “Going to Florida to get out of this winter weather. Some sun and some nice weather are a great start to our year… It’s not a vacation by any means, but it’s still a lot of fun. You get to spend a week really focusing on your sport.”

Challenges foreseen: “Mother nature. It’s a big challenge for us to be ready when we go to Florida. We’re able to spend quite a few weeks indoors practicing, but it’s never in the conditions that we actually compete in… and once we’re back outdoors, another challenge will be utilizing our roster correctly.”

Why people should come to games: “Softball is a very exciting game… it’s a fast-paced game, and it’s a short game only lasting about an hour-and-a-half.”

Additional details: “This year we have 19 players on the roster, which is the biggest team we’ve had in years... We have more competition going on within the team, and we would like to make that a positive competition.”

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Track & Field

Head Coach: Brian Bliese

INDOOR (season started Jan. 11)

Next meet: Saturday, Feb. 8, Chicago Windy City Invite in Chicago, Ill.

OUTDOOR

Season starts: Saturday, March 22 at Augustana College Outdoor Opener in Rock Island, Ill.

Home opener: Saturday, March 29 at 11 a.m.

Preseason preparation: “Most of our track athletes compete in a fall sport, so they focus their specific training to that. Those not out in the fall start to get into shape by a combination of running, cross training, and lifting.”  

Most looking forward to: “We have so many new faces each year; the team dynamics change. We strive to have each athlete compete at his or her best throughout the season, which is long including both indoor and outdoor seasons.”

Challenges foreseen: “Indoor training: trying to build a high level of fitness with the facilities and weather concerns that we have to deal with. It is a constant challenge every year.”

Why people should come to the meets: “The Beloit Relays (on Friday-Saturday, April 25-26) is a spectacle! So many things happening at once; it’s the only time all year people can admire the work that our athletes put in.”

Additional details: “Cross country and track athletes work basically year-round on their craft. They put in an average of 20-25 hours a week during the season, not counting time out of season.”

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