Mother Nature touched the area with winter weather Feb. 26 but Englewood High School's boys of summer still took to the field.
The Pirates went through a variety of drills under the guidance of Tim Mitchell, the team's new head coach, who said practices will stress the fundamentals of catching and throwing the baseball.
The Pirates open the season on the road March 6 at Denver West and follow that up with a March 8 game at Alameda. The first home game on the schedule is slated for 4:30 p.m. March 17 against Denver South at Wise Field, just north of the high school.
Mitchell said he has a good turnout and that the Pirates will field a varsity and a junior varsity team this season. He added that there will be a lot of focus on academics so that all the players will remain eligible to take part in the games.
“From what I have seen so far, it looks like we have some good, talented kids on our team this season,” the coach said. “We also have some good young assistant coaches who will be a big part creating a baseball program the community can be proud of.”
Mitchell grew up in Denver and played baseball for Machebeuf High School. He continued his education and his baseball career playing for Regis University.
He spent 30 years as a member of the Englewood Police Department and for several years, served as the school resource officer for Englewood High School and the two middle schools.
Mitchell has coached teams at Bear Creek, Arapahoe, Littleton and ThunderRidge high schools. He also spent 30 years as a scout for the Cleveland Indians and now is a scout for the Chicago Cubs.
“If you look at teams that win baseball games, you see their strength is the fundamentals of catching and throwing the ball,” the coach said. “That is a big focus for us as we work on those skills which, hopefully, will go a long way to eliminating errors in our games.”
He said, off the field, he is working to line up sponsors to help Englewood buy additional equipment for the players and to do some needed field repairs.