Brookwood’s baseball team has its busiest slate of the semester ahead.
Not only do the Warriors open the second round of the GISA AAA state baseball tournament with a road doubleheader on Thursday against Stratford, but the team is also in the midst of final exams, the baccalaureate on Friday and graduation on Saturday.
So how has coach Ken Johnson instilled a calming demeanor in his bunch as they eye a frenzied four days ahead?
“I told them how important it is to focus on one thing at a time,” he said. “Take your exam and move on to the next one. Take your pitch and move on to the next one. You can’t be looking around and worrying about everything else going on – you’ll find yourself struggling.
“Let me worry about everything else,” Johnson said.
Brookwood (17-9) is the lone local team still alive in the baseball hunt after a first round sweep of Pinewood last weekend.
The Warriors won both games during the latter stages, including a a two-out, RBI base hit by freshman Reid May in the eighth inning of Game 2.
May, whose name was absent in the regular season lineup, etched his way into the postseason roster with standout performances in practice two weeks ago.
Johnson said that May has continued to exhibit sound development during the Warriors’ workouts this week, and will retain the No. 9 hole as Brookwood’s designated hitter.
“If a guy gets an opportunity then performs and produces with it, he’s earned that opportunity to stick around,” Johnson said. “It’s that simple.”
Brookwood conducted three practices this week, two of which were trimmed to 90 minutes on Tuesday and Wednesday to account for the extraneous off-the-field obligations the team is enduring.
The Warriors spent the bulk of the shortened sessions working on defense, as Johnson attributed that to be the team’s Achilles heel of late.