Hello everyone! It’s been a while. I’m back blogging for my second year. I guess people were shocked that I could put together a coherent sentence, so here I am back at it. For those of you who did not read my blog last season (I’m sure that’s the majority of people) let me introduce myself. My name is Ray Ricker and this is my 5th season as the Associate Head Baseball Coach at DII Post University in Connecticut, which plays in an ALL wood bat conference (C.A.C.C.) I have managed for the past three summers in the N.E.C.B.L. I coach the hitters, catchers, and handle the recruiting at Post University. I love coaching college baseball, and am very fortunate I get to do a job that I love and couldn’t think about doing anything else.
First, I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving even if it doesn’t feel like fall in the Northeast as you can still wear shorts without getting weird looks. I hope this doesn’t mean we will have bad snow storms into our spring season; the countdown has already started for our first game versus Franklin Pierce in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (94 days). This team has many new faces and an influx of talent off last years’ successful run.
Our fall went well, having our new guys from all over the country learn our system and play our style of ball. Our roster is unlike many rosters as ours looks like a bad geography test with all of the states that comprise the 2012 Post Eagles. Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Alabama, Florida, and even branch out into different countries as Canada and Staten Island (haha). This leads to great Saturdays around the televisions when everyone’s home state plays. These guys get along great which as any coach knows team chemistry is almost as important as who is in your starting lineup, if the guys don’t like each other it is tough to go into battle with them come spring. We do a lot of team bonding activities to bring these guys together and it seems to be working going into the break. I will let everyone know the characters that make up this roster in the coming weeks, some strange but wonderful young men in this program and I am fortunate to have them in the program.
The N.L.I. signing period has recently just happened and many young people have had a press conference, put on their selection hats’ on and made their coaches very happy. This time is a College Coaches Christmas morning all of the hard work from the phone calls, the long days at random fields, the in house visits, on campus visits, getting guys to come to camp, emails and finally the College Coach can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they got “their” guy. That breathe only last for a couple of seconds when the staff realizes it’s time to turn their attention to the following years class. Recruiting is how coaches stay coaches, the old saying “Jimmy’s and Joe’s not X’s and O’s comes into effect. We did not sign any players during the early sign time, not because we didn’t identify any talented players we have we believe a ton of very good players fall through the cracks and some players do not want to feel rushed making a decision that will shape their whole life. I was one of those players and it worked out for me, as a Coach you can get to know the players a little more in depth rather than seeing velo on the radar gun I want to know these players character. So if you’re a player reading this and didn’t sign early don’t worry there is time and a program waiting for a player just like you.
There was also very tragic news out of the University of Rhode Island’s baseball program as one of their student athletes Joey Ciancola passed away during a morning conditioning practice. I could not fathom how hard this is for the Ciancola Family and the University of Rhode Island community my thoughts and prayers are with all of the people who were fortunate to call Joey a friend, teammate, and son. I am sure your teammates will be playing this season in your memory. It shows us all how precious every day is and as Coach John Wooden said “Make every day your masterpiece.”
That’s it for me for the week. I hope you and your family, have a great Thanksgiving and hope that my Miami Dolphins can keep their winning streak going versus the Cowboys. If you want to get a closer look at my day to day antics please follow me on Twitter @CoachRix8.