Coach Bryan gives updates on the upcoming baseball season


Mitchell Rowles, Staff writer

Coaches for the 2022 Clearfield Baseball team include Sid Lansberry, Brandon Billotte, Drew Bryan, Brian Barr, and Sean Quick. Returning letter winners feature Blake Prestash, Kyle Elensky, Ryan Gearhart, Nolan Barr, Shane Coudriet, Morgen Billotte, and Cole Bloom. Coaches and players are more than excited to participate in a new season.

When asked how do you feel about your roster this coming season? Bryan responded, “I feel very confident in our roster this season. We have a lot of players back from our District 9 Championship team who have game experience. We lost four graduates from last year who had big roles on our pitching staff and our offense, but we are confident that it will be a ‘next man up’ mentality with some new faces that we are excited about. We have a good mix of veterans and fresh faces to bring new juice to the program. Coach Lansberry has preached the importance of versatility on our roster. In other words, we are excited that most of our players can play multiple positions on the baseball field.”

He believes that they can improve their teams win percentage by, “focusing on the small details. It’s a new year and our success last year doesn’t matter anymore. Players have to earn that starting job and we have quality depth this year. We are going to compete and push each other each day at practice so we are prepared on gameday. We need our seniors to lead and our entire roster to buy-in. If everyone is on the same page, we should improve from last year. We may have won a District title last year, but we didn’t reach our full potential. This year, we are looking to reach that potential with so many returning players from 2021.”

Bryan finds that the most important quality of a baseball player is a short memory. He states, “Baseball is a game of failure. Players who get a hit three out of ten times are considered ‘great players’ in the major leagues. Those players tend to become hall of famers. So in many ways, baseball teaches valuable life lessons such as how you respond to failing. You have to forget what just happened and move on to the next pitch while hitting or the next play on defense. The best players are able to not get too high or too low with their emotions and they are mentally tough when it comes to the game of baseball. The best players are consistent and are able to have a short memory.”

Bryan motivates his players through good leadership he believes that good leadership relates to their followers. I like to build relationships with players by listening and getting to know them more than just players that I coach. I believe the players have to ‘want’ to play for you. They have to believe in you as a coach. Successful teams are motivated by being apart of something bigger than themselves. As a coach, I don’t see myself as someone who will raise their voice too much, but I try to lead by being accountable and hard-working.

When asked if he feels more confident in the new season? He states, “I am very confident in our coaching staff and our players this season. I am looking forward to see the team evolve and buy-in to what we need to do to be successful.”

Bryan states, “As the infield coach, improving our defense and being fundamentally sound is my main priority. We need to make the easy plays and have 100% effort behind our pitchers to help them out. I know that we need to improve our on-base percentage and get hits in key spots. We need to be better offensively than last year, period. Lastly, we need to bond as a team and believe in each other from day one. Last year, it took some time for our team to gel and become a cohesive unit. This year, we need to have a trust in each other from the get-go.”

Bryan believes that the teams greatest advantage will be experience. He claims that, “After winning a district title, we need to be prepared for everyone’s best effort when we play. The target will be on our back as one of only a few teams who made the state tournament in the Mountain League. The experience that many of our players gained in those big games last year will help us this season. We can’t just talk about being ready this year, we have to be mentally and physically prepared so there are no excuses this Spring.”

Their typical practices are described something like this: “Earlier in the season when the weather is snowy/rainy and cold, we tend to use the batting cages more. When it gets warmer and the field is playable, we practice at the high school. Varsity/JV tends to practice separately, but model their practices similarly so all the players in the program are learning the same philosophies. We hit batting practice (BP), take infield/outfield (I/O), go through defensive and offensive signs, bunt plays, pick-offs, etc. We try to put the players in as many game-like scenarios as we can. Baseball is a game that can be chaotic, and it can move fast. We want players to be able to feel prepared and organize that chaos.”

Bryan likes to take a positive approach. He states, “baseball is a game of failure like I said before. You don’t respond to adversity by getting down on yourself or your teammates. You have to stick together and persevere. Baseball is also a game that is up to chance. You can hit a ball as hard as you can that gets caught and you’re out. You can also hit a ball weakly, but it found the right spot on the field and it is a hit. You just never know what is going to happen after you the ball leaves your bat or the ball leaves your hand when you throw it. It’s an unpredictable game at times and you have to stay positive.” He believes that, compared to last year they’ll “have to be better. That’s the only option if we want to reach our team goals.”

The schedule is not yet posted on the Bison Athletics page on the school district website, but it should be posted soon under the documents tab. It will also be posted on the Clearfield Baseball MaxPreps website. Our home games include opening day 3/28 vs. Philipsburg-Osceola, 4/4 vs. Brookville, 4/5 vs. Bald Eagle Area, 4/11 vs. Huntingdon, 4/14 vs. Bellefonte, 5/3 vs. Tyrone, 5/11 vs. Hollidaysburg, 5/12 vs. Penns Valley, 5/16 vs. Punxsutawney, and 5/18 vs. Curwensville.