This will be Kyle Zimmerman’s first year as Smith-Cotton baseball’s head coach, but he doesn’t plan on changing much as he wants the success from the past three years to continue.
Zimmerman, previously an assistant coach, has taken over from Jud Kindle, who now coaches at State Fair Community College. Zimmerman said the players pretty much know his expectations and think this will be a smooth transition, with the help of the hard-working guys in this program.
Junior Alec Luyet, a pitcher and outfielder, has played on the Tigers baseball team for three years. He emphasized that the coaching change won’t negatively affect the team. He thinks Zimmerman becoming head coach is a good thing and that Zimmerman has a lot to offer.
“We’re a fundamental team, I think we will succeed from his coaching,” Luyet said. Zimmerman’s small changes include events during practices that will help with this year’s team.
“Each year and each team is different, so as a coaching staff, we are always trying to do our best to put these players in the best position to succeed,” Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman is always looking for a way to improve as a coaching staff and as a team. He added that pitching will be the most different this year. A majority of the varsity pitchers graduated last year, leaving a few spots open for this year. Also this year, the National Federation of State High School Associations is requiring all states to have a pitch count limitation on pitchers.
“I personally am in favor of it because I think it will protect these young pitchers and hopefully help them have longer careers,” Zimmerman said. He believes this will take a lot more planning on the coaches’ part, to make sure they don’t get in a bind and run out of pitchers when they play three to four games a week.
Sophomore Brody Kindle, second baseman, is going into his second year on the team. When Kindle heard that Zimmerman was becoming the head coach, he was ecstatic. Kindle believes Zimmerman will put a lot of time and effort into the individual players as well as the team as a whole. He says the change will be positive, as Zimmerman will bring passion into the sport.
Zimmerman stated he is very fortunate and excited for the opportunity to lead this program. He would love for everyone to come out and support the team at its first home game on March 22 against Rock Bridge at Liberty Park Stadium.
Taylor Husong is a student at Smith-Cotton High School.