Culver Prepares For Next Baseball Season
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Part 2 of Fred Altieri’s interview with Coach Rick Prieto regarding the Culver City High baseball program)
Rick Prieto – Culver City High Baseball Head Coach
Our program for the 2014 baseball season starts in the summer. We do everything in stages. What we try to do in the summer is continue playing baseball and the good things we just finished doing in the spring season and keep building from there.
We are obviously going to spend time with the areas we have identified that we need to strengthen.
One of the areas right now is the outfield. We lost Timothy Stewart, Jonathan Im and Nate Matthews to graduation and they were pretty much our outfielders.
So we’re really focusing on developing our outfield this summer. That’s stage one. In August I will start doing my homework in assessing who had a real good summer and who didn’t and basically prepare for our fall/winter stage.
That’s the important stage. Now we start working on the areas that need to be strengthened. There will be repetition in the areas where we are strong already. By winter season we’re playing and it’s anywhere from 15 to 18 games. So that gives me another opportunity to start putting in the potential varsity players at the positions I feel they can excel in.
We have a lot of infielders. I may have to take an infielder, possibly two, and convert them to an outfield position. I’ve done that before. Last year we had Daniel Hennessy as our starting third baseman and we weren’t able to develop a catcher at the level we were hoping to develop. So we moved him to the catching position and he did a great job.
I don’t believe we have to do that next year as we have our catcher of the future in this group of four that we have right now. I can say that for a week of starting pitching we are strong.
Coach Sterling Roux is back with us and we’ve hired three former players to coach this summer. So we’ll be in pretty good shape with the coaching and hopefully it will carry on into our winter program.
There’s a great opportunity that I’ll be able to have them staffed for the fall program and we’re working to solidify them for the whole process up to the spring. It would be tremendous for our program.
The month of August we take off. It’s a period where I ask them not to do anything. Some continue to play baseball. Some continue to go to the weight room and also do some conditioning on the track. But to me that’s their break and I hope they take advantage of it.
I want them to come back refreshed and eager to start baseball again in the fall. We start off with a little conditioning, a little weight lifting and a little baseball. Every month we start to increase that and slowly before you know it we’re ready for spring. It does come pretty quickly.
Our goal is to get to the CIF Championship Game and win that but we’re a ways from that.
My understanding is that on August 1 we are going to have our baseball field leveled. It will be seeded and it will be pretty much in playing shape by October 11.
They are going to do some irrigation repair. I don’t know to what length but our field should be in much better shape in October than it is today.
The areas where local individuals or companies can contribute to the Culver City High baseball program are in what they are experts in, for example if they are electricians, landscapers, if they do masonry work.
We definitely need new dugouts. We definitely need new chain-link fences. We need a new scoreboard. We need a new batting cage. We would like to have a nice indoor batting cage made out of pre-made steel with new turf inside. We’d like to have our storage bins removed and have a nice storage bin made from the pre-steel as well.
If anyone or any company are in those fields that would be great in terms of some of the things I’ve mentioned or we would greatly appreciate straight-out donations. It is costly. An example is our new scoreboard that we would like to have. It is a 28 x 8 foot scoreboard. It is all wireless, digital and really nice. It is going to cost $15,000.
So if there are any companies or organizations out there that would like to sponsor the scoreboard and have their name above the scoreboard we would be more than happy to accommodate them.