BENNINGTON >> The first day of the spring sports season for high schools in the state of Vermont don't start until next week, but the Mount Anthony Union High School baseball team isn't waiting to take advantage of the unusual warm weather going on in Vermont this week.
All week long pitchers and catchers have been practicing a bit for MAU as they start their process of preparing for the upcoming season.
"It's been a great week to get out here and get the season underway," said senior Noah Normyle. "The weather is great and it's been fun being out here throwing around with the guys."
Happy to see his pitchers and catchers get some great work in outside instead of inside to start the season is MAU coach Walt Parmenter, who wants his players to take advantage of the weather as much as possible because it will help them get back into the swing of things a little bit easier.
"It's hard to get players ready when you're practicing indoors, so we need to take advantage of these warm days we have been having," Parmenter said. "Today was great to see the guys get a chance to do some throwing outside and you can see that they're all getting really excited about the upcoming season."
For the past couple of years, MAU has had pitchers and catchers report a week earlier than the rest of the squad to get their arms loose and get back working on their mechanics.
Since pitching will be a big strength for the Patriots this season, having pitchers start throwing a week early was also really important to said Parmenter.
"We could be six starters deep this season, so it was important to get all the guys back throwing early to work on their mechanics and throwing strikes," Parmenter said. "When you have the amount of good pitching we could have this year, you need bring them all around the proper way, so that when the season starts it will be a big plus for you going into games."
Another huge plus for the Patriots going into the 2016 season is the veteran presence on the team, with up to around nine seniors being on the roster this season.
"Our team has a lot of experience with a lot of us playing two or more years on varsity," said senior Brody Farnum. "Having that amount of experience will definitely help us this year and I'm just really excited to get the season started."
With the rest of their teammates slated to join them on the diamond next week, the arms of MAU are all excited to get the season underway.
They all understand, though, that this is just the beginning and that their first game is still a little under month away.
"I told the guys earlier this week that the season is still over three weeks away and that they need to focus on getting better at the fundamentals of the positions they play," Parmenter said. "There are still spots to be won on the varsity roster and nothing set in stone right now, so the guys just need to keep their mind-set on being confident and being ready to play baseball. The rest will take care of itself."
MAU will hold its first full squad practice on Monday.