By Kai Raymer (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Taking the field this spring: Greenwood Blue Jays Baseball.
The private laboratory school in Springfield will have a varsity baseball team for the first time in school history.
Greenwood’s coach is Chris Adams. He replaces John Hartley, who was named Greenwood’s coach last summer but recently resigned due to health reasons.
Adams has an extensive coaching history in high school baseball, including in-state stints at Nevada and Carthage.
“Of course we would like to win as many games as possible and be able to compete at a high level,” Adams said. “Being realistic, the improvement from Day 1 to Day 60 needs to be highly evident. The skills and knowledge these players gain may not be measured in wins and losses, but will be evident with other observations.
“Having fun and enjoying the game of baseball is important to us. We want this first year of baseball at Greenwood to be as enjoyable as possible for the players.”
Greenwood will play its home games and hold practices at Barnhouse Field in west Springfield. Recent upgrades – a new scoreboard and sound system, new infield sod – have given the historic stadium a facelift.
In case of inclement weather or unsuitable grounds, the Blue Jays can also practice at Missouri State’s field hockey stadium or intramural fields.
Greenwood’s season opener is March 21 at Bradleyville.
The Blue Jays play their home opener the next day against Seymour.
Starting a baseball program requires many resources and supplies.
Greenwood has received equipment donations from Missouri State’s baseball program and the Springfield Cardinals.
“We greatly appreciate those donations,” Adams said. “Just getting students to participate and gain knowledge of the game is a challenge, but as we get closer to the first baseball game at Greenwood, students are beginning to get excited about attending and experiencing high school baseball.”
Greenwood will have a very young team in its debut season.
Senior Alex Widman (right-handed pitcher/infielder) and junior Joseph Jackson (left-handed pitcher/outfielder) are the only upperclassmen on the current roster.
The remaining roster will include at least six sophomores and five freshmen. Sophomore Carson Little and freshman Chance Rose are two underclassmen with travel team experience.
“We do not have a final roster yet because students are still coming out and seeing if they like it,” Adams said. “We do have players with travel team experience. The few that have played baseball in past summers will provide valuable help to our inexperienced players.”
Adams previously served as a high school baseball head coach in Ashland (Ill.), Nevada (Mo.) and Carthage (Mo.). He was also head instructor for Mickey Owens Baseball School.
Adams played collegiately at Missouri Southern in Joplin, where he earned All-American honors, and was a scout for the Texas Rangers.
Adams has taught biomedical science and anatomy at Greenwood for the last five years.
Tim Williams joins Greenwood as an assistant coach.
Williams played collegiately at Crowder College and Missouri Southern. Like Adams, Williams has also kept close ties to baseball through camps and player development.
Adams and Williams will be starting baseball at a school that has three other spring sports (golf, tennis, track) and an enrollment of 94 students.
“The other Greenwood sports are popular and successful, so we are working with schedules and trying to share a few athletes,” Adams said.