The Portage High School baseball team is an underdog this season. With a less-than-ideal record, and the loss of many seniors last year, they’re a young team building themselves back up that plans to dominate next year.
At a batting focused practice on Thursday, it was clear that the team experiences camaraderie and teamwork, from the way they help each other set up the cages to pitching for each other.
Head Coach Robert Dixon had a lot to say about the team. He admits that having three seniors on varsity makes for a difficult season, but he’s proud of how far his current team has come.
“We’re learning,” Dixon explained. “We’ve been in every game this season which is good. We have usually have one inning during the game where the wheels really fall off and we make a few errors. All in all, I’m very happy and pleased with where we are so far, and where we're going.”
The breakdown of the team is interesting. 3 seniors, 10 juniors, a sophomore pitching staff, and a freshman who can bat and protect second.
“We’re a very young team this year. We have mostly sophomore pitchers and one junior pitcher. Those pitchers are going against Division I talent at Lake Central or Crown Point. They have very seasoned pitchers, which is making batting difficult as well.”
Every season, no matter what the team looks like, is about learning, working hard, and being a good person in every area of your life.
“The philosophy of our team is that school comes first, and grades come first. We want good students. We want good future citizens for the city of Portage,” Dixon explained. “We want them to have the ability to be able to cooperate with people and learn to do teamwork so in the future when they go out in the world they know what it's like to be on a team and work and get things done.”
The team is looking forward to Sectionals.
“Our goal is to be a tough out this year, and we want to make sure by the time Sectionals rolls around that we’re ready to play,” Dixon said. “These games during the season we’re spending really preparing for Sectionals. Hopefully, we'll have a good run.”
There are some advantages to having such a young team, and that’s they’ll grow together. “By the time they’re seniors, if these kids stay together and work as a team instead of individuals, we’ll be very competitive the next two or three years,” Dixon said.
Cody Potts, a senior catcher for the team, said, “We want to do better, and we want to do better things, but what we’re really doing is rebuilding the team. We’re trying to mentor the younger ones to take it away next year so that they can be better and do better things next year”
We wish the best of luck to the Portage Indians Varsity Baseball Team this year and beyond!