On the Bump with Cole Thompson
Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hello Gents fans and welcome back to “On the Bump”. This is my third and final year to write the blog, as I plan on graduating in May with a degree in Accounting and Business Administration.

For those of you that have never read the blog, I use this as a way to give readers insight into the ins and outs of a week as a collegiate student-athlete. Centenary is a challenging school academically so it takes a lot of work for our student-athletes to achieve success on and off the field.

Throughout the year I will discuss our practices, games, travel, and team functions. I will talk about our positives and negatives throughout each week as a team, but I will never call out individuals for poor performance. We win as a team and lose as a team, and I will keep it that way when analyzing a game. There will be some games we win 1-0 or 10-9, and sometimes we will lose 1-0 or lose 10-9. In the end, our record will truly indicate how well we played over the course of the season.

I truly believe our team has the potential to be great this year. However, we have to play good defense, hit the ball well, and pound the strike zone as pitchers in order to live up to our potential. There is a saying that good teams find a way to win in the end, and bad teams find a way to lose in the end. This statement is very true in my opinion because it measures a team’s heart and resilience.

Our team’s fall practice time was short but very productive. The NCAA does not allow DIII teams to practice as much as a DI teams so when we are together as a team we must utilize our time efficiently and get our work in quickly. After watching our team all fall, I really like the group of guys our coaching staff has brought together. We lost a few key pieces from last year’s team, but we brought in some guys capable of producing right away. One thing that I really like about this year’s team is our depth. We have several guys capable of coming off the bench and being a clutch pinch-hitter or a quality defensive replacement in late inning situations. We have a lot of young players that have the potential to play key roles on the team in the future. This indicates that our team will continue to be solid for the foreseeable future.

We were supposed to have a fall scrimmage against LSU-Shreveport this fall but unfortunately it was rained out. LSU-Shreveport is ranked #2 nationally in the pre-season NAIA polls, so it would have been a great measuring stick to see where our team was following our fall practice season. However, we will get to play LSU-S twice in April.

We just started spring practice this week, but an unusual amount of rain kept us off the field nearly all week. The pitchers were able to throw on the warning track or in our covered batting cages. Friday was nice enough that we were able to do some defensive work and batting practice on the field. Unfortunately, the rain came back on Saturday and we were forced to go to the indoor facility in Shreveport. In the indoor facility pitchers were able to throw off of the mound to hitters and simulate an at-bat. It was not ideal because we all wanted to be outdoors, but it was still good to get back into the swing of things and face live hitters.

This next week’s weather looks a little more promising after Monday and it will be great to be outdoors and getting after it on the field. Our first game is less than 4 weeks away so it is crunch time for us.

Next week, I will discuss our week of practice and discuss the first part of our schedule. Until next week, Go Gents!