By Cindy Zomar, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Fans everywhere are listening for the cries of “Play ball!” to ring out over the land, but for high school baseball coaches, the pandemic wreaked havoc on their programs. Hoping against hope that there would be at least an abbreviated season for their players, especially the seniors, many coaches carefully inventoried uniforms and balls, and sent out motivational messages to the students, just waiting for the go-ahead from the governor’s office. At this point, however, those hopes have been dashed and the only thing left is to encourage their players to find any summer baseball programs that might be opening soon. To that end, the coaches at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School (AVRTHS) have used social media throughout the spring and taken it a step further than most.
Head Coach John Silk has been reaching out to players on the team’s Facebook page, urging them to get outside, stay in shape, and make the most of their time at home, while Coach Ross Abdelnour has been using the account to highlight individual players with a profile and a brief interview.
In the meantime, Coach Bill May, new to Assabet’s coaching roster, has taken advantage of this time to utilize his own particular skills to initiate the Assabet Baseball Show on his Youtube account. May is one of the instructors in the design and visual communications program at the tech school, and among his specialties are all things video, giving him a unique platform to reach the players with various skill drills, and a bit of humor.
“We coaches got together on ZOOM to talk about the spring baseball season, and agreed we wanted to keep the kids active in case we were able to have a season. My son, Zach, a former AVRTHS player, is home from college and here with me, so between the two of us we were able to film several segments showing some key drills that the kids can do at home, either alone or with a family member,” explained May.
The shows highlight defensive and hitting skills and one episode featured a special guest, Gary Burnham, Jr., an MVP and Hall of Famer from the Reading Phillies, an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. Five shows have aired to date, with a sixth in the works.