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Coach’s first year a homecoming [UPDATED]

Published 9:33am Tuesday, April 9, 2013 Updated 11:35am Tuesday, April 9, 2013

This season will bring many different experiences for new Pelican Rapids head baseball coach Adam Johnson, but, perhaps most of all, it will be about coming home.

Johnson, who is a graduate of Pelican Rapids and played on the school’s baseball team, took over earlier this fall as the head baseball coach.

Now at the helm of his former team, Johnson said his passion for the game has overcome any pressure that comes with being the new coach in the program.

“There’s always a pressure to win,” said Johnson. “But we’re going to let it be what it’s going to be, have fun and hope for the best.”

After graduation, Johnson played four years of baseball at Concordia College in Moorhead. As a pitcher, Johnson said he studied the intricacies of the games and hopes to pass that knowledge on to his players.

“I really enjoy the hitter-batter chess game,” said Johnson. “Just talking baseball with the guys and seeing their knowledge grow, that’s something that’s stood out already.”

Because he’s been in the same uniform of his players, Johnson said the knowledge he brings to the team from his own experiences has been helpful. There are, however, plenty of things left to learn for the young coach, even if he is familiar with the program.

“You know who the perennial powers are, whose kids know baseball real well,” Johnson said. “You know some of that going into it, but as to who not to pitch to or what kid to watch out for from each team, you learn that as you go.”

Johnson has been working for an excavation company located in Pelican, and is an active young member of the community. With youth as a asset, Johnson hopes that connection with his players equates to success.

“We bring a lot of energy, are pretty young as a coaching staff and excited about baseball,” said Johnson. “Hopefully we can get the kids as excited about baseball as we are and build from there.”

No matter what the season brings, Johnson said he is excited to get out and learn with the players. While playing well is certainly the team’s ultimate goal, Johnson said he is glad to have the opportunity to coach young athletes.

“We just want to improve and compete,” said Johnson. “But I enjoy working with the kids. That’s what makes it fun.”

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