Here's the interview with Hinckley-Finlayson baseball head coach Jay Kreger.
How many years have you been coaching, and what got you into coaching?
I've been a coach within the Hinckley-Finlayson baseball program for the past twenty-three years. This will be my twelfth season as the head baseball coach. I was inspired to get into coaching because of the positive experiences I had with my youth and high school coaches including my father and uncle. Coaching has given me the opportunity to meet some great people throughout the years. It also has given me the chance to give back to today's youth and share my experience and knowledge of the game.
What is the toughest part of practicing indoors?
The toughest part of practicing indoors is trying to simulate game speed and situations. There are numerous things we can do inside to get better. However, it's next to impossible to simulate game speed situations due to the limited indoor practice space we have. It's also a tough task to keep the kids motivated as they are excited to get outside and start playing games.
Is this years team a young or veteran roster?
Our team this year is made up of two seniors and a balance of juniors, sophomores and freshmen. We have 7 returning letter winners from last year's team. We have several kids with a lot of varsity experience which always helps.
What are some of the teams goals this season?
Our goals as a team revolve around winning the GRC conference, competing for a section championship and having fun while playing the game of baseball. We are coming off a very successful season as GRC conference champs but understand that the teams in our conference have also got better. We have the tough task of replacing our top two pitchers who were outstanding last season. If our pitching is up to par, and we play solid defense, we know we will give ourselves an opportunity to repeat as conference champions and have a shot at a section championship.
Which player/s are you looking forward to or think will make a big jumo in their play this year?
As far as which player(s) I'm looking forward to making a big jump, I would hope that all of them do. We are constantly trying to get better as individuals and as a team. Many of our kids have dedicated themselves and put the effort in the off season to get better. I'm particularly looking forward to the growth our sophomores and juniors will show throughout the season.
Are there any specific games you're looking forward to or have circled on the calendar?
We don't have any particular games that we have circled or stand out on our schedule. We play one game at a time and try not to look ahead. We know each game is extremely important and that is the approach we take.