Ladder drills, agility drills and a 1-mile run were on the agenda for the first day of softball conditioning Saturday morning at the Bradwell Tigers softball field.
Lady Tiger softball coach Sharyl Eastlake and assistant coach Jeff Eastlake were manning the whistles and guiding potential players through the cone drills and runs while assessing the incoming talent and physique levels. Being the first day of conditioning and a Saturday morning, Eastlake said it was a good sign that potential players were interested and serious about the upcoming season.
“We are planning to condition on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and hopefully we will get more girls here, because the better prepared you are for the season, the more successful you are going to be, especially since we are moving to a new region,” she said.
This year, the girls will play in Region 3B-AAAAA and will face new opponents. Eastlake said she is excited about the prospect of facing new teams and not knowing their strength or weaknesses.
“We have some teams that are known for doing really well — Ware County for example,” she said. “I really want to be prepared to play against them. We play Glynn and Effingham, too. It’s going to be a learning experience for me as well as the girls.”
The Lady Tigers lost six seniors due to graduation this year. Eastlake said they will return a few seniors but they need to condition and build over the summer.
“This year we need a lot of players, so I’m happy to see the girls out here,” Eastlake said. “We have to rebuild the varsity and this season we have to build an entire (junior-varsity) squad. We had so many seniors graduate last year and we only have a couple of seniors this year. We have Shaquira Smith, Courtney Felton, Ashley Riles, Kelissa Hargrove and Samantha O’Neal coming in this season that will be seniors and possibly a few more.”
Eastlake added that conditioning helps the new girls get in shape and moving and also provides an opportunity for her veteran players.
“It’s an opportunity for the older girls to become leaders and step up and show the younger girls, the girls that are inexperienced, how to condition, exercise and prepare for the season,” Eastlake said.
The girls will meet from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 9-10:30 a.m. Saturdays for the next few weeks before taking a break and returning later in the summer for regular practice.
“I’m really excited about the season. I miss softball and our field looks fantastic,” Eastlake said.