Mitchell baseball coach takes on added role in MBALuke Norden is ready to take on added responsibility within the Mitchell Baseball Association. Norden, the coach for Mitchell’s high school and Legion baseball teams, accepted the position of the Mitchell Baseball Association director of operations two weeks ago.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
Luke Norden is ready to take on added responsibility within the Mitchell Baseball Association.
Norden, the coach for Mitchell’s high school and Legion baseball teams, accepted the position of the Mitchell Baseball Association director of operations two weeks ago.
The position entails scheduling practices, games, travel expenses and umpires. It also oversees teams of all levels within the association.
“It’s not going to be much more than the stuff I was doing already,” Norden said. “I was doing some of the duties anyway.”
Trevor Arnold, Mitchell’s high school spring baseball junior varsity coach, previously held the position.
Jim Larson, the MBA president, said the change was “not a reflection on Arnold’s performances.”
“With Luke being the varsity coach, it makes the most sense,” Larson said. “The board is very excited and it’s a positive at all levels of baseball to have Luke oversee the summer programs.”
“This allows me to get to practice with those younger guys and help them out,” Norden added.
One aspect of having a single coach to oversee the strategies at every level in the MBA is that the kids will become familiar with one set coaching style as far as defensive strategies and alignments, according to Norden.
“Hopefully it will be an easier transition from one level to the next all the way up our program,” he said.
Another change for the 2013 season to the MBA is the addition of a Junior Legion team, which will be discussed among players and coaches at a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Mitchell Middle School cafeteria.
Larson said the new team will replace and expand the varsity teener team.
“The change will give Norden flexibility during the season to move players from the junior to Legion roster as needed,” said Larson, who noted scheduling for the team is already in the process.
In years past, players were restricted to at the varsity teener level, which was open to 15-16 year olds. In the Junior Legion team, players 13 to 17 years old are eligible to play.
“I’m excited about some of the changes,” Norden said. “We’re always looking to improve from one year to the next and we continuously look at how many players are going to come into our program. Hopefully we will continue to draw more kids into our program with the changes.”
Mitchell will join eight to 10 other Junior Legion teams throughout the state. Last year marked the first year for a Junior Legion national qualifier in the state. The event was held in Sioux Falls.
“With the changes we’re going to make, there is some trial and error,” Norden said. “It’s hard to say if they’re going to be really great changes or not, but we feel that they are better for the program.”