Mansfield Sports

Weather has young Jaguars struggling to gel

Entering the 2015 baseball season, the expected early storyline for Summit would be youth and inexperience. As it turns out, through the first month and a half of the season, the pervasive story – as it has been with most other programs – has been the weather.

With multiple tournaments canceled and a combination of wet and cold – and often both – the young Jaguars haven’t had much opportunity to blossom. In fact, when they practiced last Thursday, it was the first time in 21 days they actually trained on the baseball diamond.

“That’s the biggest thing,” coach Chris Peacock said. “That’s been the biggest issue, just the preparation and the reps in practice and being on the field and things like that. That’s been the biggest hurdle.”

And while all area teams have faced the whims of Mother Nature, it hurts teams like Summit the most – teams that are trying to break in fresh faces at the varsity level.

“It’s probably hurt us quite a bit just not getting the consistent practice time that we need to get the guys the reps they need,” Peacock said. “Certainly that has hurt us some.”

The Jaguars, which were senior-heavy last season, are off to a 2-6-1 start this year, having split their first two District 14-5A games against Arlington Seguin and Waxahachie. It’s not exactly the record a proud program like Summit expects, but they knew there would be growing pains.

“The thing we’re in search of is consistency. And I think a lot of that comes from our lack of preparation,” Peacock said. “We’re still trying to figure out guys in some spots and things like that.”

Of course, a lot of that comes back to the weather.

“They’ve had to be flexible,” Peacock added. “We’ve had to change times on the fly and change locations on the fly. More than anything we just need the consistent practice time to help get us where we need to go.”

The have been bright spots, for sure. Peacock noted the performances of Alex Palmer, one of the few veterans on this squad.

“He’s done a really good job on the mound and at the plate for us,” Peacock said.

Palmer took the hill for the Jags’ district opener against Seguin and delivered a complete-game, 4-3, victory, with all three runs unearned.

Peacock also praised the efforts of Scott Sorenson and Brenner Johnson. It’s not surprising that much of the team’s experience rests within this group.

“Those are the one who have been there and done it,” Peacock said. “The other guys are still trying to figure it out and what it takes to play at the varsity level and compete on a consistent basis at that level.”

Despite the excuses at their disposal, Peacock insists you won’t see his club use them.

“The expectations for us are no different than they’ve ever been,” he said. “Regardless of what we have returning, we feel like we’ve established enough of an expectation that we’re going to go out and compete all the time and give our best effort. At the end of the year that should get us to where we want to be.”

The Jaguars have a pair of intra-ISD rivalry games on the schedule this week, facing Lake Ridge on Tuesday and Legacy on Friday.

Weather permitting, of course.