COLUMBIA — Some baseball teams have players-only meetings to get it, others teams naturally have it. Chemistry is something that every team must have in order to play to its highest potential.
For the Hickman baseball team, there is nothing like a 22-hour bus ride to Florida to build chemistry.
On Friday, the Kewpies left Columbia to play in a tournament at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Hickman’s first game is today, but coach Dave Wilson said the trip is about more than just baseball.
When Wilson began his tenure at Hickman four years ago, he wanted to come up with something that would help his team become closer.
“In my first year when I took over, we had a veteran ball club and we felt like we needed to come together as a team and create team unity,” Wilson said. “Getting away from Missouri weather and developing that bond a team needs is important. If you’re going to win a championship you have to have that team chemistry, and just spending time together is huge.”
Senior pitcher Greg Kanuckel said the trip gives the team more time to get to know each other than practice and games.
“Going to Florida and playing some good teams from around the nation is a good team building experience,” Kanuckel said. “It gives us a lot of time to get to know each other, especially the bus ride.”
Colin Kemble, senior shortstop, said the bus ride is his favorite part of the trip because during that time he gets to know his team the best.
In order to pay for the transportation to get to Orlando, the team did an extensive amount of fundraising.
“We just got done with a waffle breakfast and garage sale,” Wilson said. “Earlier in the year, we had two restaurant nights where the boys were waiters and bus boys.”
While in Orlando, the Kewpies will play four games in three days. Wilson said playing teams that you are not familiar with is a huge benefit to help prepare for the rest of the season.
Hickman will be playing two teams from Oregon, one from New Jersey and one from New York.
“It’s neat to play different competition and teams with different styles from around the country,” Wilson said.
After the Kewpies are finished with their games, the team will have a few days to unwind, relax and have fun.
Each player has a three-day park pass to Disney World and on the last day of the trip the entire team will goto a water park.
The Rock Bridge and Helias baseball teams are also traveling to Orlando.