Varsity baseball coaches swing into action; Burrows, Martinek, Fries, adjust to team

Grace Feldbush, Event Coordinator

    Varsity baseball has slid into their 2022 season. Coaches Jeffrey Burrows, Justin Martinek, and Tucker Fries are leading the team.  

    Martinek explains he has coached the team for nine years now. He said he got into coaching baseball because “baseball is a completely different mentality than football,” and he likes that change.  

    Prior to coaching, Martinek played baseball for 17 years, which gave him the experience to start coaching. He believes he brings a lot to the team like, “knowledge of the game and how it should be played.”  

    When making cuts at tryouts Martinek says he ranked players into three categories which were fielding, throwing, and hitting, and he made his decisions from there.  

    “Winning the 2021 Regional Championship has been my most successful moment as a coach,” Martinek says.  

    “When athletes are struggling, I just try to get them to clear their head,” Martinek explains. He says when people struggle in baseball it is usually a mental block.  

    Martinek is focusing on the mental aspect of baseball right now. “Baseball is 90% mental, I am focusing on making them think about what they are going to do with the ball when it is hit to them,” he says.  

    “The parents shouldn’t be the ones approaching a coach about playing time, the athlete should be.  “Playing time comes from the production at practice that gives the coach confidence that you will perform in the game,” Martinek states.  

     Head coach Jeffrey Burrows has been coaching high school baseball for 22 years. “This is my first year as the varsity baseball head coach at North Harford, I assisted coaching with Larrimore 19 years prior to this,” he says. 

     Burrows says making decisions on who is part of the team is always tough. He explains the grade, their position, and how many players also play that position all go into consideration when making cuts at tryouts. 

     The coach explains he is a very competitive person and is hoping it will help the team want to improve and get better. “Winning isn’t everything, but putting the work in and trying your best as an individual and as a team is in my opinion,” the coach states. 

     Burrows says he wants players to know that, “it is their team and they have to put the work in to have a successful team.” He explains it is difficult to have team success when coaches want to improve more than the players do. 

     According to Burrows  it is extremely important for players to advocate for themselves, rather than parents do it for them. “I do not talk to parents about playing time, I speak to my players if they have questions,” he states. 

     Burrows is currently working on keeping the athletes consistent. He believes that since many of the players are young they do not play with the same level of energy and focus that is needed. 

     The head coach states that the team is great to work with and they keep improving every day. “I like to give back to the next generation of athletes like my coaches did for me,” the coach says.