Clark Fork Cougs’ manager Shawn Sorenson and his coaching staff are continuing the process of building a program.
In Sorenson’s second season as the Cougs’ skipper, they are still in the process of finding the right combination of players to a build a cohesive team.
“We are trying to gel as a team, trying to find really where we belong on the field and in the batting lineup, and trying to find out who our main pitchers are and string them all together,” Sorenson said. “We’ve been successful and our main goal is to win a state tournament in July. We have to take it one step at a time and get better with every game.”
With only a handful of kids from last year that placed third in the Babe Ruth 16, 18-year-old Cougs’ team, the young Clark Fork team is in the process of rebuilding.
“I think we started with 10, 16-year olds, four 17-year-olds, and four 18-year-olds,” Sorenson said. “We are glad to see that there is a lot of interest valley wide. There are guys from different towns and we are really thrilled that the kids’ parents are being patient with our weird practice schedule.”
Sorenson and his coaching staff are working on getting the Cougs valuable experience basically playing two separate teams in a doubleheader.
“I think we have a lot of guys that got playing experience and it is really difficult for everyone to get a good number of innings in,” Sorenson said. “We’ve been able to get a lot of guys a lot of innings. They get a real good shot at gaining some experience and getting a good amount of innings in is valuable.”
The idea for the Cougs is to make a strong second-half run by the time they get into the Babe Ruth Tournament to give themselves an opportunity to play strong during the playoffs.
“Off the top of my head, we only have a hand full of guys from last year’s team that finished third in state out of five teams that participated,” Sorenson said. “We are hoping to improve (on last year’s mark).”
The Cougs will play next week in a round robin tournament Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Bonner in Missoula.
The Cougs, who currently have a record of 2-7, are still trying to find the right combination with a roster that varies greatly in experience levels.
“That is exactly what we told the kids that our performance is a little rough right now,” Sorenson said. “Every week we need to be the strongest team that we can be and I think we are getting better now We appreciate the guys coming out playing, guys that have to do a lot of travel and the parents putting up with the idea and supporting (everyone on the team). It takes a lot of people to make this happen and I am pretty thankful for all of the people behind the scenes that make it happen.”