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Prep notes: Teams adjusting to playing outdoors

Published April 4, 2014 7:18 pm

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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

With the baseball and softball seasons in their infancy, most teams still are adjusting to playing outside after a long winter of being cooped up in a gym.

That means more errors and mental mistakes and relatively sloppy games compared to later in the season, when the style of play will be more crisp.

"I think it takes two or three weeks to get all the rust out of the system, to be honest," Alta baseball coach Barry Harrington said. "We've been very fortunate to get off to a good start, but we're still committing errors that you normally don't see later on in the season."

To expedite the adjustment period, many teams play in early-season tournaments in St. George. Likewise, Harrington said, it's of crucial importance to take full advantage of every day the weather permits an outdoor practice.

"It's really easy to stay inside and get a warmer practice in than get outside to practice," Harrington said. "But we tell our boys, "It's not like it's sunshine on the other teams' fields.'"

Lone Peak legacy

It was announced Friday that Lone Peak guard T.J. Haws has been named the Gatorade Utah Boys' Basketball Player of the Year.

It is unsurprising Haws was given the honor, after a season in which he cemented himself as one of the best players in Utah prep basketball history. He averaged 25.1 points and 5.4 assists while leading the Knights to their fourth straight Class 5A state title, something no Utah boys' program had ever done.

But perhaps as impressive as the season Haws had is the fact the award has now been given to a Lone Peak player five out of the past seven seasons. Haws' brother, current BYU guard Tyler Haws, won the award in 2008 and 2009, while Nick Emery won it in 2011 and 2013.