Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Three Lakes/Phelps uses a unique approach to keep opponents guessingSubmitted: 05/11/2018
Story By Mark Spillane

Three Lakes/Phelps uses a unique approach to keep opponents guessing
THREE LAKES -
The saying goes that baseball is a thinking man's game, and secret signs are a big part of a team's strategy.

But for Three Lakes/Phelps, those secret signs are more like secret codes.

"It's one through about 600 and there are colors and different variations," Co-Head Coach Tyler Lorenz.

Blue Jays coaches call out a color or number using wristbands similar to a quarterback's play sheet.

"All they have to do is look down and say 'okay that's my job for this upcoming pitch'," said Lorenz.

It's something Lorenz brought to the program three years ago.


He first saw the method while playing for UW-Stevens Point in 2010.

The team that used the strategy was coached by former New York Yankees third baseman, Scott Brosius.

"I thought 'man, isn't that a simple way to communicate to your players, [to] make sure they're all on the same page'," said Lorenz.

That easy communication is one reason the Blue Jays like their system, especially to help younger players.

"They're not guessing, they're not saying, 'did he really just touch his belt or his hat?' It's a number and if you miss the number or the color, you just tell your coach to repeat it," said Three Lakes senior Brad Sowinski.

But even with a simple system like this one, the Blue Jays faced a learning curve, especially, for the Phelps athletes who joined them as a co-op last year.

"We just did normal signs [at Phelps] like touching the hat and to your wrist would be a steal or something in that order," said Phelps senior Nolan Rosner.

While it's simple for the Blue Jays, the system can seem complicated to opponents.

"There's not one color that means offense, not one color that means defense, it's just all kind of mixed in there so it leaves a lot of confusion," said Sowinski.

Lorenz says sometimes, the Blue Jays might give away their plans for other reasons.

"There [are] a few plays on there that we call as coaches, and [the players] start lighting up, sometimes it might give it away to other teams that something is going on," said Lorenz.

But more often than not, opponents aren't very good at cracking the Blue Jays codes.

"When you call out a number or a color and they think they have it caught on and they say steal or something and it's definitely not a steal at all, it's something else, it kind of makes you chuckle and keeps them on their toes," said Sowinski.

As of Friday the Blue Jays were tied for second place in the Northern Lakes Conference with a 5-1 record.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

THREE LAKES - Art teachers constantly strive to think of projects that will let students explore their creativity. Three Lakes Elementary School students are getting to work on something that will end up displayed far beyond their parent's refrigerators. 

"I've had my class send letters, notes, nothing as big as this before," said Three Lakes Third Grade Teacher Jessica Noe. 

+ Read More

Play Video

LAND O'LAKES - Eleven years ago, retired Col. Don Hamilton wanted to make sure veterans were appreciated across the Northwoods. 

"Me and two other guys, we kind of were having a cold beer one day and said 'You know, we ought to do something fun for the veterans,'" said Hamilton. "Why don't we just put them on a free snowmobile for a day?"

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - For Greg Herfindahl, 20 degrees below zero is the magic number.

When temperatures are colder than that, Herfindahl's school buses don't always cooperate.

He owns Schilleman Bus Service in Eagle River, and the thermometer reached 30 below in Land O'Lakes overnight. In the morning, the buses, which serve the Northland Pines School District, just didn't go.

"As soon as we started pulling out of the yard, right away they're losing power," Herfindahl said. "We've got issues."

As the diesel fuel gelled in frigid temperatures, buses stopped running, and Herfindahl told Northland Pines he couldn't confidently get students to school. That led to a day off for students.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - This year's 56th annual World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River was a four-day spectacular that brought the biggest names of the snowmobile industry to one track.

Competitors prepared for this race over the past year. That preparation paid off Sunday for semi-pro racer Davis Jennings from Toronto Canada.

"We got the win in the semi-pro champ class today and that's huge. We've been dreaming of this for a long time. We worked really hard for it," said Jennings. 

Jennings wasn't the only one who took home gold today.

Minnesota's Blaine Stephenson had a championship victory in the pro class race, for the second year in a row, after coming in first place on the oval ice.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - You would think the snowmobile derby would bring more business to shops, restaurants, and hotels to Eagle River, but some of them didn't see much of an impact.

The owners at Bridgewater Inn Eagle River said most of their visitors stayed for vacation rather than the derby, even though the motel is just feet away from the tracks.

"We were not as busy as we would have liked to have been. We had several race teams here, but we normally get a lot more snowmobilers than we had this weekend," said owner Marvin Radolff.

Another business owner in the area said he didn't see much traffic until later in the evenings during the weekend.



+ Read More

MADISON - Fewer permits would be available for bear hunters under recommendations going before the Natural Resources Board on Wednesday.

Just under 11,600 permits would be issued statewide for 2019. That's about 11 percent less than last year.

+ Read More

MADISON - A power outage impacted terminal operations at the Madison airport for about 2 ½ hours.

The outage at the Dane County Regional Airport happened shortly before 5:30 a.m. Monday, and a backup generator also failed. Airport spokesman Brent McHenry told WMTV that passengers could not get on or off planes.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: