With a new head coach and the season freshly under way, the De Anza men’s baseball team hopes their busy offseason and improving team chemistry will lead them to a successful spring.
Getting the team together proved to be a process for new head coach Don Watkins, who joined the program in August.
“When we started this winter session, it was tough because we had to start all over again,” he said. “It’s been challenging but it’s been good.”
However challenging it has been to form a new team around a new coach, Watkins said he’s enjoyed the process.
Returning center fielder Anthony Sortino, 20, liberal arts major said that although there are differences between the old and new coaching staff, he thought the team took them in stride.
“Overall, I think with the new coach it’s been a pretty good adjustment,” he said.
This is a sentiment shared by Iram Macias, 21, kinesiology major, who said that Watkins is a straightforward coach who knew what he wanted for the team.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to him because he didn’t even really have a team to start the fall with, and now we’ve got like 40 guys,” Macias said.
Players and coaches alike noted the strong chemistry amongst the team, which Watkins likened to a family.
Jason Hartwyck, 18, communications major said that progress on that front has come quickly.
“I think we’re all coming together very well,” he said. “I think for a group of people that don’t really know each other, we all came together pretty quickly to form a brotherhood.”
With this new brotherhood, Coach Watkins expects the team to win.
“I’ve been telling the team if they win seven games, I’m going to buy them dinner,” he said, though he also said he expects them to exceed that number.
Sortino has even higher goals for the team, which he said that they will outperform outside expectations.
“As a team, we’re going to win league,” he said. “We’re going to surprise a lot of teams. We’re going to come out here and compete.”
Hartwyck, for his part, is just looking forward to the first game of the season.
“I think it’s going to be epic,” he said. “I think we’re going to kick ass.”