PANAMA CITY, FL (WJHG/WECP) Monday was a big day for area high school baseball players. It marked the first official day of spring practice for teams across our area and statewide.
For a few in this region, at schools like Blountstown, Wewa, Rutherford and Bay, to name a few, the start of spring practice includes crews, and to some degree, the players and volunteers alike, working on their baseball facilities.
At Weeks Field on the Bay campus, several volunteers worked Saturday to get the field playable for Monday. Any glance at the field and one can see the work is ongoing.
Though coach Starr says everything should be good to go by Bay's home opener late next month.
"By then everything should be back to the way it was back before October 10th. You know I think there's the possibility it will be better. You know we're adding some clay on the infield in some low spots that before the storm, we may not have done that. After the storm it kind of let you see the low spots and some stuff that we wanted to get done anyway."
As for the numbers, they are good, though coach Starr did tell us he's lost four players, in the wake of the storm, he was expecting to be on the roster this spring.
"We lost four kids, a couple of them had to go to different schools." coach Starr said. "And then a couple of them they didn't have a place to live, so they had to go...I've got one kid in South Walton and the other kid moved out of the state. So we lost some kids, but our numbers at tryouts here today are pretty high, so we're excited about that."
And all in all, the coach is thrilled to be back on the field, any field, with his players.
"It's huge, it's huge just to get the kids out here." Starr told us. "To be honest with you, I tell the kids all the time I spend more time with these kids than I do my own family. So when you're not around them as much, you kind of miss them. So being able to see them out here every day, we're really excited about that and being back into the competitive nature."
Area teams like Bay begin regular season play near the end of February.