Chambersburg baseball team gets a fresh start
Looking for omens as Scott Folmar begins his tenure as the baseball coach at Chambersburg?
Monday was a beautiful day, probably one of the finest in many years for the first day of spring practice.
That's good, right?
Um, well, the team had to practice in the auxiliary gym because transportation hadn't been set up to take the players to their home at Scotland's Green Township Park.
But Folmar and the Trojans made the best of things, and the new coach - the first Chambersburg baseball coach other than Bob Thomas in 51 years - is nothing if not positive.
"It might have worked out for the good that we were in today; we got all the paperwork done," said Folmar, who could not control the wide smile on his face. "Besides, the rest of the week looks like it'll be even better weather, so we'll still end up ahead of schedule. We'll be able to see all the players outside before we make cuts."
That's another good thing. The numbers were up from the previous few years - 56 players are trying out.
Trojan assistant coach Corey Dayley said, "It's better numbers than we expected. We'd been down the last few years - I think kids who didn't make the team before didn't bother coming out to try again."
The atmosphere was definitely upbeat, even at the end of practice and a series of sprints.
Senior shortstop Carlin Christian, now in his fourth varsity year, said, "It was a little different today. It had a little more pace to it, more energy. Nobody was standing around."
"Mostly, there was a little more energy," senior Austin Suders said. "Guys know change is coming with coach Folmar. Today seemed a little more fast-paced and not as laid back. We got a lot of work in for the first day."
The extra energy may also have something to do with the way the Trojans finished last year. They won five straight games to reach the District 3 Class AAAA championship game, but lost to Hempfield and again in a first-round PIAA playoff.
Five starters have departed, but a solid core returns.
Suders said, "I think toward the end of the season we figured out what we needed to do, and we hope to carry over that to this year. We expect a good year."
"I don't think (having a new coach) will add any pressure," Christian said. "I think we should be pretty good, and I think we'll have a lot of fun."
Folmar, who started for four years under Thomas, isn't trying to re-invent the wheel. What Thomas did for 51 years was obviously successful. But there will be tweaks.
"One thing I want to see is the guys playing with a bit of energy - every day we step on the field I want to see that and enthusiasm," Folmar said. "That's my philosophy."
Daley returns as a varsity assistant for the third year and Brandon Caldwell is again the JV coach. Mike Truett is also a varsity assistant, and volunteer coaches include Adam Witter, Calvin Frantz and Jack Mull.
"Scott has new ideas and a new system, but it's based on what we've always done," Daley said. "It's just a different delivery. Bob did try new things all the time, but he also had his set routines; like, he was always big on intrasquad scrimmages."
So, there will be changes to the program, but nothing drastic.
Well, except for one thing.
The Trojans will be going back to a traditional navy blue hat with a white English-style "C" on it.
"We're going back to the old look," Folmar said.
Sort of back to the future.