They are just about ready to start working with players in small groups and the pitchers/catchers are getting loose, with high school baseball practice set to begin/commence in just about 2 1/2 weeks….
With the ground wet and practice conditions tight inside the high school gymnasiums, change is always on the horizon and there will be the dawn of a new day for the Ben L. Smith High School baseball program this season…
For 2016 Joey Gladson will be making the baseball calls for the Ben L. Smith Golden Eagles…..Joey is currently the top assistant coach for the Smith wrestling team and the work he has done with the Golden Eagle wrestlers has impressed Smith athletic director Rod McCullough enough that he has turned/handed over the keys to the baseball field gate, to Mr. Gladson….
Jonathan Spell coached the Smith baseball in 2015 and the team went (2-14) overall and (0-10) in the Metro 4-A Conference…..MaxPreps only has Spell at Smith for one season, but for Smith overall, over the past 5 seasons, their baseball record has been (8-60)….
Joey Gladson has done a yeoman’s work with that Smith wrestling team, putting in much time and dedication into that wrestling program and he looks to hit the baseball field with that same dedication and commitment that he has shown on the wrestling mat, at Smith…
Gladson has been playing on the adult softball circuit for the past 10 years and his baseball background came from the Southeast community and Pleasant Garden programs and has several clinics lined up for he and his assistant coaches to attend prior to this upcoming high school baseball season…Gladson and his staff will be attending sessions/clinics with Coach Mike Kennedy at Elon University over the next few weeks, prior to the start of the Golden Eagles’ 2016 season…
I have known Joey Gladson since back when he was 7 or 8 years old and now he is in his mid-to-late 20’s and he is not a big talker, he is more of a doer….He believes in hard work and stresses fundamentals and he doesn’t like going into a situation unprepared and doesn’t plan on being out-worked by other teams and coaches and one of his pet peeves is, he does not like to see kids look bad in uniform and will not tolerate his kids playing poorly and not giving an all-out effort…
Gladson will put his time and his own finances into his program, but he is old school in that he knows without those correctly learned fundamentals, his team will not be successful….
Some coaches played for many years at many different levels and they have trouble at times coming down to level of kids that are still learning the game and this is one area where Joey Gladson will have an edge, he knows how to reach the players and knows how important it is to bring these kids along slowly and at the right pace….
Joey Gladson is growing every day…Back in his high school days he wrestled at 106 pounds and stood about 5’5 inches tall….Now Gladson is a grown man standing at 6’0 tall and weighing around 205 pounds….He is still growing and he is willing to grow with this baseball team at Ben L. Smith High School….I do not expect to see the Smith baseball team giving half-hearted efforts this season and I have the feeling Coach Joey Gladson will have this team up and headed in the right direction in the Metro 4-A Conference….
Joey Gladson has been proving doubters wrong for a long time and it is just about time to do it again….Gladson made Smith a winner in wrestling and now he is ready to do it in baseball too, and don’t look for Smith to at .500 this season, but they will win some ball games and one goal he has for the team is to double last year’s win total and take this team to 4-plus wins in 2016….
Gladson is young and he is ready to go to work and it won’t be long before you see him on the baseball diamond at Ben L. Smith High School and don’t be shocked if you drive by Smith one night and see the lights on the baseball field “still on”, as Joey Gladson and his Golden Eagles march on toward the WIN column at Ben L. Smith….
And I say it with a full wind-up, give this kid Joey Gladson some time and he will build you a team, but it will take and you’ll all have to hang in there, but he will get it done and I think he could have a winning season at Smith within the next 3 years…I think a “Three-Year Plan” is a fair deal…..
Good luck to Joey and if he needs any encouragement, he can look for it over here….
I remember back in my high school softball coaching days and I saw a team practicing in the school parking lot one day when the field was too wet and I watched and knew the team had won maybe 4 games in the past 3-4 years and I said I have to take over that team and I did and won maybe 35-40 games in the next 4 years…We had talent and it was a matter of knowing what to with it(and where to put them) and it worked to tune of having 7 of the 10 All-Conference players one season and getting the Coach of the Year a time or two and I had no softball coaching experience at all and did not play baseball in high school either and it all came down to practicing until the sun went down and we did..The young kids that stayed late learned for a lifetime and the talented players did get better and I see that in Joey Gladson too….Gladson will work them right and he will help those young players and he just has to make sure he doesn’t throw his arm out early in the year….
Still say the toughest call for me to this day was when to send that runner that was tagging up at third on the fly ball….As they say in life and in coaching too, “Timing is Everything”…..
Have written a nice Sunday post and let’s see if this one has an happy ending…Some do and some don’t and I putting my left arm on Joey Gladson…My right arm is still sore from throwing those softballs up in the air sky-high(practice pop-ups) on those cold March afternoons…..
Here is a good team motto, as we head out to practice at Smith….”WIN at Ben”……