Baseball season gets underway for Thomson High School at home, next Wednesday, March 1, at 5 p.m. versus Aquinas. Terry Holder takes the reigns as likely the first Bulldog coach ever hired charged solely with building a championship baseball program. In other words, he's not an assistant football coach also told, "By the way, coach the baseball team while you're at it."
Coach Holder's legacy as a champion will help just a little once the players take the field. They'll have to perform. I discussed his approach to building a championship program with him.
GW: What is your basic philosophy of trying to win in high school baseball?
TH: I try to select student-athletes who have some baseball ability and put them in a position that will best serve the team. You must try to make a cohesive unit that will come to depend upon each other, and expect a certain performance from their teammates.
GW: If you were forced to pick only one aspect of baseball for your team to excel, what would it be?
TH: Without a doubt, pitching.
GW: What is your philosophy of scheduling?
TH: Play three times per week. I like an open date the days before region games to prepare and practice.
GW: How long is your typical practice session once the season begins?
TH: Two to three hour practice sessions and a little shorter the day before a game.
GW: Besides raw baseball talent, what do you expect most from your players?
TH: They should carry themselves like baseball players with the highest expectation as a player, respect others, and practice hard. Most of all be a team player.
GW: Besides getting their kids to practice and games, what do you expect most from your players' parents?
TH: Be the support group. It takes financial support to have any successful program. Parents are the driving force in the support group that we need to push our program forward.
GW: What do you expect the most from a school administration to help build a successful baseball program?
TH: The support we have received from this administration and board has been exceptional. These leaders' high expectations will lead to our baseball program being better. I'd like to add the booster club has given a lot of financial support to our program. Please support the booster club.
GW: Thomson High School has been competitive in baseball over the years, but does not have a championship tradition. Besides good coaching, what will it take to change that?
TH: We must create an interest in student athletes wanting to be part of a successful program. To begin to develop this desire in younger players is a must. Recreation programs and the middle school program will benefit our high school players and program.
GW: Is there a number of wins in mind or a certain goal to achieve that will allow you to call the 2006 Thomson High baseball season a success?
TH: Our main goal this year and every year will be to make the playoffs.