3 CT baseball teams use trips to Florida to bond and improve skills


It was spring break and spring training rolled into one.

While most high school baseball teams in Connecticut were checking to see if the temperature would crack 55 or if it was going to rain and what condition the fields would be in every day in April, three state teams traveled to Florida during their Spring Break.

Newington, Windsor and Brookfield all traveled to Florida this month to play baseball, visit amusement parks and build a team bond they’ll keep well beyond high school.

“We’re giving these kids unforgettable memories that they’ll remember more than any game they play,” Newington coach Ben Alaimo said. “The baseball game is what we’re here for and it’s very important and we have a lot of work during the week. But what happens as a result of the trip is that the team chemistry improves immediately. We have four or five children per room and we try to organize this according to who they need to be close to. We don’t just bring kids together who are already friends, we want all kids to get to know each other. Travel is always great fun for children.

Newington has been visiting Florida on spring break every two years since 2008, making his sixth trip this spring.

Playing at the KSA Events venue in Orlando, the Nor’easters played one official game, a 13-1 win over Canandaigua Academy (NY), but played four scrimmages during the week.

Newington had some travel issues on the way to Florida, bringing them to town a few days later than expected.

Fortunately, a familiar face was also at KSA in rival CCC Windsor and provided Newington with an extra scrum.

Windsor and Newington were scheduled to play twice during the regular season and would have preferred to avoid each other in Florida, but Windsor agreed to play after Newington lost games.

“Every year we went there was another CCC team there at the same time,” Alaimo said. “Because we are playing at Windsor twice this season, we were both scheduled to play off state teams, but due to our travel issues, we agreed to play a single scrimmage against Windsor.”

Joe Serfass coached Windsor for 13 seasons and took his team to Florida for the ninth time this month.

The team played at Disney Wide World of Sports and Vero Beach before moving to Saudi Arabia for the first time this spring.

“A lot of planning goes into this trip, but it was a great experience for the kids,” Serfass said. “The children are together 24/7 for six days. They were able to go to the parks, ride the rides, dine as a team, go bowling, play laser tag and spend time together that they never would have if they were at home.

Windsor also had valuable baseball experience.

“From a training perspective, the extra games are really beneficial because, in my opinion, 20 games in high school is not enough,” Serfass said. “You can’t beat getting that many reps. We had practice on the grass and then we played five games. get into matches and show us what they can do.

Windsor’s only official match was a 13-6 victory over Radnor (Pennsylvania).

Windsor and Newington are both unbeaten this season, with Newington having won six games since returning and Windsor winning five.]

“There’s a ton of value in going there for the whole team,” Alaimo said. “We play against everyone in a lot of scrums and with less pressure. This allows the kids to get reps that they wouldn’t normally get in April games and it allows us to establish our depth chart. Throwing spreads by playing so much, but it allows other kids to throw and sometimes we find we have another thrower that we didn’t know.

Brookfield played in two games that scored in Florida, beating St. Mary Ryken (Md.) 2-0 and Fenwick-Oak Park (IL) 13-7 while playing at Universal Florida Sports Complex.

Although the Bobcats lost their first game in Connecticut to take on Barlow, they are 11-1 this season.

[email protected]; @EricsonSports


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