The mission statement of Brigham John is simple.
"I want them to see that we can compete with anyone, that we can go out there and compete in anybody in the Western Big 6, anyone down south in the St. Louis area. I want to see that they recognize the commitment, the attitude, being positive and having fun,"
And Quincy High's first-year head coach is well underway in harvesting that same attitude from his roster. Not surprisingly, confidence from a coach breeds confidence in the players.
"Yeah the confidence definitely helps because Coach John has a lot of energy and being around him makes me want to play. He's a good coach,"
"I feel more confident than last year, I feel like we should be able to go out there and compete a lot better than last year,"
"He's come in with a lot of confidence in our ability as a team to compete, and that really goes a long way for all of us. If he's got enough confidence in us, then that translates to us,"
This new era of Blue Devil baseball isn't about trying to change the game. But a change in approach could help QHS reverse the fortune of past sub-.500 seasons.
"The atmosphere is a little different in practice, obviously there's a little different philosophy that varies from coach to coach, but its still baseball, and I think we've all got to realize that its still the same game we've been playing. There may be a little bit different look but I think overall it will be pretty similar,"
What you can expect from this team is pitching depth. John's biggest project is to adjust the offensive approach, and getting everything in-sync, 1 through 9.
"As of right now, we're just trying to get our philosophies set in place with these guys. We're talking about playing small ball and knowing what our team can do and what we can do to manufacture runs as a group. Pitching-wise, it's the same thing - working ahead in the counts, throwing a lot of strikes and letting the defense play behind you and just be confident in yourself and in your defense. We have the pitching staff that's going to keep us in ballgames, its just a matter of us being confident in ourselves that we can produce runs and get some runs behind our pitchers and I think we should be okay,"
At this point, you can't measure real progress from a hardwood floor with 40-foot basepaths. But when QHS finally gets a chance to take the field, that's when the prospects of a new team identity will start to take shape.
"I think we can get this team on the right path and keep going, and hopefully keep us moving uphill,"
"We're going to go out and compete and do our best. We want to win, we want to win the Western Big 6 and all the way to state finals. That's our mentality and that's what we're going after,"
"Changing the program now, to have people say 2013 is the year we turn it around. I think that's a big challenge for us, but its something I think we're very capable of. We know we've got a lot of pieces and once we get out there and put them together, I think we'll be a pretty good ballclub,"