Sports Spotlight: Coach Pitch Coyotes

WICHITA FALLS - The Coach Pitch Coyotes little league baseball team, almost didn't play this season, and that's because they couldn't find someone to coach them.

That's until three Wichita Falls Coyote baseball players decided to step up and take on the challenge.

"I just want them to have fun playing baseball and when they grow up this will be the sport they want to play," said catcher Brady Cotton.

Ranging in age from 5 to 8, the little Coyotes are now 3-1. 

"They've definitely surprised us, " Cotton said. "First practice we were definitely scared. They've come out and they've done everything they're supposed to. And they're always happy." 

The new coaches say they see a little of themselves in their players.

"It's a lot of fun to reflect back and see how we were like as kids and chasing balls in the infield," said 2nd baseman Jason Haumschild. "And getting that hit or making a play and just the big smiles on their face. It makes it worth while." 

They do, however, say it's different going back to the basics.

"It was a kind of a hard adjustment working on high level stuff and then having to come down and re-teach these kids, but it's kind of nice because it gave me a chance to start over," said short stop Zane Leonard.

"It gives me another prospective of the game," Haumschild said. "It's helping me work fundamentals again and if I've gotten off track, just teaching them how to field a ground ball properly and stuff like that." 

"It's kind of given me a chance to go back, kind of a fresh slate on some things that I've been postponing a little bit," Leonard said. "Stuff like, small ground balls and tee work and stuff like that. I'm starting to work it more because it's helping these kids grow and I really think it could help my game as well."

Leonard said he stresses the importance of repetition and muscle memory in the little coyotes, something he says he wishes someone would have instilled in him at that age. 

"When I was younger, there would be times where 'well I don't really need to go out today, because I did it a few days ago," said Leonard. "And now that I'm older, there's some things that, some mechanical issues that I shouldn't have and wouldn't have if I had kept those reps up when I was younger. I kind of wish somebody when I was that young would've showed me."

But most of all Cotton, Haumschild, and Leonard hope to inspire the little Coyotes just to have fun!


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