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Hopewell Baseball Continues Tradition of Team Day

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Talent is obviously a huge component for the overall year in and year success of any sports program.

However, talent alone doesn’t guarantee success and we can list many examples to reinforce that point.

While it might not be thought of much, chemistry and team bonding are two factors that are important ingredients to consistent winning.

Teammates have to be able to mesh together and be willing to play as one to achieve the ultimate goal of winning. Factions and clicks kill chemistry, which often times prevent talented teams from reaching their full potential.

While he can’t guarantee team success every season, Hopewell High School baseball coach Morgan Singletary does everything he can to foster a complete team and family environment.

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A perfect example of that is an event that took place over the weekend.

On Saturday, the Hopewell High School baseball team held their annual ‘Team Day’.

Hopewell HS Baseball’s 2024 Team Day consisted of 3 things: First, the entire team and coaches do a 4-mile run throughout the city of Pittsburgh. The team is dropped off in the South Side by the Liberty Bridge. From there, the 4-mile run took them towards the Duquesne Incline along the Ohio River. They then went up a ramp onto the Fort Pitt Bridge, across it and then ran through Point State Park. From there, they ran along the Allegheny River up to 24th Street in the Strip District.

Courtesy Hopewell High School Baseball

After the run, the team then went to Puttshack in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. Puttshack is an upscale, tech-infused mini golf experience, that pairs modern technology with crazy courses and trendy vibes for an experience you won’t find elsewhere. Puttshack also has locations in Atlanta, Chicago, and other major cities.

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Following their fun at Puttshack, the Vikings went to visit the famous Clemente Museum in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh. The team went on a tour of the world’s largest exhibited collection of baseball artifacts, works of art, literature, photographs, memorabilia, and related materials which focus on the great Roberto Clemente, his teammates, his personal life, and his humanitarian causes.

“The four-mile run started when I was an assistant coach under Mike Shuleski,” said Coach Singletary. “We used to go to Myrtle Beach for spring training and I started having the players go on a run when we would get there to get our bodies moving after the long bus ride. It was completely optional then. We would go out and pick a pier to run to and it was always right around 4 miles. When I took over as the head coach, I thought it would be a good way to start the season and have the players do something that they probably would think of doing or want to do. “

“My first season was canceled due to Covid, so we never did a full team run on the beach, but we do a run the following season. It was at the high school on the track. We encouraged players to push themselves and finish. When the run got hard the important part was to finish what they started. We did it on the track for two years before myself and the boosters came up with an idea to make a day out of it. Last year was the first year we did team day along with our 4-mile run. I set up a path for the run that went a long a trail in the South Side and ended at the Point. We then went on a tour of PNC Park followed by going to a Pitt Baseball game. The players liked the run in the city a lot better and seemed to enjoy the events after as well.

“This year it was a really nice way to close out our conditioning and winter workouts and prepare for the start of the season. The effort that the players are putting into the run is great to see. Pretty much every player cut time off of their 4-mile time from last year, some players cutting significant time off. The events after are nice to let them enjoy some time together as a team before we get going with the season.”

Courtesy Hopewell High School Baseball

“I think the day went very well,” said Hopewell shortstop Zach Gigliotti. “It started off with the run which obviously isn’t fun but went well for the whole team. I believe almost everyone if not everyone beat their time from last year. After the run, we went to Puttshack and I really enjoyed it. We then went to the museum and that was very cool. There were a ton of objects and things signed by professional baseball players, so it was really interesting.”

“I think that team building day is a very good thing, starting with pushing each other in the run, to enjoying the day and having fun with everyone after. It’s very important to have a close team because the better the team plays together, the better we will be. I personally think it’s a huge impact especially later on in the season when games get harder and harder. In my opinion, it was an overall great day!”

This day of fun for the team is put together and paid for by the Hopewell High School Boosters Organization.

The defending WPIAL Champions will have their first scrimmage this coming Saturday and their first 2024 regular season game in two weeks.

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