UD Spring sports preview Men’s Lacrosse and Baseball

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Joe Hanretty

Contributing Writer

 

 

 

Junior Rene Vargas at bat against Sul Ross State University in their first game of the season.  University of Dallas Photo
Junior Rene Vargas at bat against Sul Ross State University in their first game of the season.
University of Dallas Photo

The 2015 spring semester is under way, and the University of Dallas athletes are preparing to begin the spring season. This week, the men’s baseball and lacrosse teams officially start their hopeful journey toward successful seasons. Both teams are looking to improve their records after disappointing seasons over the last few years. After speaking with the coaches and many of the players from both squads, I came away with a common denominator: hunger for success.

Joe Myers, the head baseball coach, was kind enough to speak about the expectations for his team going into this past Saturday’s games.

“We want to win!” he said, “[We need to] get above the .500 mark, turn around the trends that have followed the program for a while now…We should be expecting more from ourselves…Leadership will be key for us this year since we have more upperclassmen than usual this year. Although it’s my first year as the head coach, I have been around the program for four years and ultimately I want to make sure these guys are prepared, having fun and winning ballgames. We have to get rid of this idea that losing is okay.”

As a broadcaster for the team, I can personally attest to the trying times the program has been through. Stringing together wins has been a real challenge. Retaining talent is another, as some freshmen who rarely see the field seem to give up and move on to other schools. The recruitment efforts seem, at some times, to be all for naught. Myers says he hopes this is another trend that experiences a turnaround. He expressed his desire for the program to increase its standards for the caliber of talent in their future recruits.

Senior first baseman Trevor Keele, last year’s Player of the Year, also shared a few thoughts. Again winning was the enduring message.

“We just need to win ballgames, plain and simple,” he said. “We need to establish a winning environment. My goal is to lead this team in any way possible, and winning Player of the Year again wouldn’t hurt anyone, I guess.”

In the world of men’s lacrosse, there is a completely different team that is back in business with a new coach, a new philosophy and a new roster. Many see this program as a lost cause, and for the last few years, it has barely mustered up enough male humans to be eligible to compete. This year is different.

The hiring of head coach Keith Lindgren brings a fresh start with a man with plenty of experience. He is seriou and passionate, and he believes deeply in the program. I sat down with him to discuss the team goals for his first season here at UD.

“Right now, we are focused on getting the program off the ground,” he said. “It’s been a rough ride, but it will change. We want to win games, of course, and establish respectability. I want our new players to gain game experience, to start to really understand the game and the history behind the sport. We want to be focused on the present, but we also want to focus on developing a consistent improvement that builds toward next year.”

Lindgren said he and assistant coach Ian Powers hope to bring along an entirely revamped roster to a winning season in the upcoming months.

The desire to win and to be successful is the fuel for any competitor, or at least it should be, in my opinion. No matter what level, a lack of success begins to weigh heavily on a person. Hopefully this season, success on the field is a commonality for these teams and for the athletic department as a whole.

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