- It may not look like it, but spring is here, and along with it comes the start of baseball season.
For the Antigo Red Robins, it means a chance to build on the success of last season.
The team went an incredible 12-0 in conference play, but fell just short of their goals in the playoffs.
Players say the way their season ended will help push them this year.
"It just teaches us that, you know, baseball is a failure sport," says center fielder Luke Osborne. "Obviously everything's not going to go our way, but we just want to compete harder. We're just more prepared this year. We're expecting to do very well."
The Red Robins want to repeat their conference winning ways this year, but they say team chemistry is more important.
"As a team we just want to work hard, come here with energy every day, and grow as the season goes on," says Head Coach Dan Bastle. "We have a really, extremely tough schedule this year for our non-conference schedule. That's really what it's all about: just to grow as a team, bond together. Hopefully we'll make a late season run and we'll see what happens."
The Red Robins also got a jump on the early season bad weather.
They took to a school parking lot for practice last week to get ready for cold weather games.
Coaches say early practices are invaluable.
"Well I think for Wisconsin, you really have to work on the fundamentals," says Bastle. "That's the key. Ground balls, pop-ups, and whenever you can get an opportunity to get outside and get that done you have to."
Good fundamentals are key in baseball.
That's why players don't mind practicing outdoors in March.
"We want to keep good habits," says infielder Cameron Noskowiak. "We don't want to pick up bad habits just because of cold. We want to make sure we warm up well and just start taking ground balls in the field and taking pop flies outside and everything like that."
Antigo will play their first official game this Thursday against Sun Prairie.