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Hutchison Hawks prepare to open 2022 baseball season

Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 7:12 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Playing baseball or any other spring sport in Alaska can present a challenge every year. Teams wait every season for the snow to melt to get outdoors for practices and games. The Hutchison Hawks baseball team has been practicing indoors since late December, and now they are preparing to open their season next week.

The Hawks will start their season with three road games, one each day, Thursday through Saturday. The time, hard work, and dedication the players have put in over the last three months will be put to the test in their first taste of action.

“These kids have been really committed this year,” said coach Billy Smith. “These guys have been working really hard from the beginning of our conditioning which started in December through the regular season start in March.”

Even though the high school baseball season in Alaska is shorter than many other states around the country, that doesn’t mean the level of competition in Alaska is lacking. The players and coaching staff have an excitement about them knowing their season starts in six days.

“These kids are excited,” said coach James Johnson. “They’re ready to get out of here, and they’re ready to do something like see green grass or be able to play some baseball.”

The Hawks have been preparing as much as possible despite the outdoor limitations they face. Even though teams have been practicing for months now, there are still some aspects of the game that will need to be cleaned up like long throws, of fielding fly balls.

“It’s going to be different for them. They’re used to only throwing a certain amount of feet,” said coach Johnson. “That ninety feet will be a task for them, or the deep balls in center field or the alleys. We (coaching staff) will get to see what we need to work on once we get out on a regular field.”

Yes, there are elements of the game that Hutchison hasn’t been able to fully practice since starting workouts and practice, but the coaching staff recognizes there might be some weaker elements of the game, but they have focused on the things they can control: fundamentals.

“We’ll get to see some guys and see what they can really do,” said coach Smith. “Hopefully, we can come away with a couple of wins that will give us some momentum to start out season April 30, in Fairbanks.

The Hawks first game of the season will be Thursday against the Redington Huskies. Friday the Hawks will meet the Palmer Moose, and Saturday, the Hawks will conclude their three-game opening weekend against the Houston Hawks.

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