Laramie high school students interested in baseball have off season opportunities to improve their skills.

In Wyoming, baseball is not considered a high school sport, but many high school students play on the teams, and teachers’ coach. American Government and Politics teacher, Luke Andrews, coaches the thirteen to fourteen-year old team.

In high school baseball there are nine players for each team on the field at a time. When there are more than nine players on a team, there are alternates, players that simply sit out.

“There will probably be about 15 kids for each team, so there are probably about 60 kids total in the program,” Andrews said.

Andrews has played baseball almost all his life. This has shaped the way he looks at the game as well as the way he coaches. His dad as well as his brother coached his baseball team, and that is when he decided he wanted to coach the game as well.

“My dad was really into baseball, and so was my brother; he was my coach. Both were my coaches. And so basically through them I was like I am going to be a baseball coach, so I kept doing it,” Andrews said.

Since the practices are optional, not all students that will play are practicing yet, but there are expected to be more players when the actual season starts.

The optional practices for this season started in the middle of January.

“We have been practicing indoors twice a week, Thursdays and Sundays, for the last six weeks or so,” Andrews said.

The reason for starting practices so far before the season starts is to let the students get used to throwing and hitting the baseballs before they must do it in a game. After not throwing and hitting for some time, the arm gets out of practice, and it is difficult to just jump back in.

Andrew’s goal for the thirteen to the fourteen-year old players is simply for them to develop better skills when playing and to really learn about the game to the best of their abilities for their age.

“My goals, specifically for me, especially because I have the younger guys is more development. So, I like to see kids who get better as the year goes out and learn how to play the game more effectively and more efficiently, as well as just developing that desire to keep playing,” Andrews said.

The high school age teams will start playing in late April, while the younger teams will not start until May.

“The double A, they’ll play their first games in late April… I’ll have the 14-13-year old’s, our first games won’t be until the end of May,” Andrews said.