The Weber State University baseball club has just begun its 2013 season, and the team’s expectations are high for this year.
The club, run by head coach and former player Chris Abbott, will head down to Mesquite, Nev., this weekend to play its second tournament of the year. The team played a tournament in Arizona earlier this month to begin its schedule.
Abbott, with assistant coach Breck Snyder, has put together an 11-man roster for this year’s schedule, and credits the playing experience of the two of them with helping the team excel this year.
“I’ve been a part of the club team now for my fourth year,” Abbott said. “The first three years I was just a player, but now I and another former player, Breck Snyder, have hung up the cleats for coaching helmets. We feel like with the knowledge and passion for the game is a positive thing that we can spread amongst our current players.”
Abbott said the new additions at the coaching positions will help keep the club on a winning track.
“The major change with the club this year,” Abbott said, “is having a head coach for the first time in two years. The previous two seasons were run by ‘player coaches.’ Having an authority figure now creates more structure and organization and lets the player just focus on playing.”
With that structure and organization, Abbott said, he believes his team will contend with any opponent it plays.
“I’m looking forward to seeing this talented group of players perform like I know they can,” Abbott said. “When we get on a roll, we will be a tough team to beat.”
The WSU club has seven scheduled tournaments to play from now until the end of April. Its tournament locations and opponents include Utah State University, the University of Utah, the University of Montana, Idaho State University and Utah Valley University.
Braden Bell, the team’s catcher and a WSU sophomore majoring in criminal justice, explained how he was able to become involved with the club.
“Really, right now, it’s only by word of mouth,” Bell said. “I found out about the team through a buddy of mine who has been on the team for a couple years now. He said his freshman year he was going to play at Weber, and I thought, ‘Weber has a team?’ . . . It was for the club team. But I’m glad I’m on the team — it’s fun. It feels more than just a club team because it’s really competitive. We are trying to get the club name out there so we can get more people who want to play. We know of a lot of players out there who want to play, but they just don’t know about us yet.”
Abbott gave details regarding how hopeful players can find their way to the team.
“We have a team website that can be accessed through www.clubbaseball.org, which can show future players or fans things like upcoming games and locations, team roster, and even team stats,” he said. “For any future players interested in the club, they can contact me there and expect a quick response.”
Along with Abbott, Bell expressed his excitement for this season and said he knows the team is hopeful to see some solid results.
“I’m really excited about this year,” Bell said. “We have a lot of fun games to play this season, and we’re really excited about this club. We’re young and full of energy, and we have a lot of talent. Last year we were just short of the playoffs, and we have the talent to make it to regionals and do some great work up there. As long as the pieces fall into place, then we’ll have a great season.”