Baseball: ACGC’s Fellows filling big shoes – West Central Tribune

ATWATER — As the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove Town baseball crew runs out onto Kingery Field on match working day, head mentor Chris Fellows hopes to emulate the good results the field’s namesake had as Falcons head coach.

Following four decades as a junior large mentor at ACGC, Fellows is in his initially calendar year as the varsity head coach. He replaced Mike Kingery, an Atwater High School legend, ex-Key Leaguer and the Falcons’ head coach for six yrs.

That tenure incorporated a vacation to state in 2021, ACGC’s 1st in 20 years. When the Falcons built the vacation to the Course AA condition tournament in St. Cloud, Fellows was there as an assistant mentor.

A self-described baseball lifer, Fellows is hoping a state repeat is feasible with 7 of the team’s starters back again from very last period.

“With eight seniors this 12 months, and 6 that commenced final 12 months, they were seriously applied to the way Mike did issues,” Fellows mentioned. “They ended up incredibly open up-minded, which is a truly fantastic issue and it’s been so considerably, so excellent.

“There’s been transition parts wherever it is been stressful at periods. But over-all, I think it’s been a great transition.”

The Falcons are however attempting to come across their footing in the first month of the period. They’re 6-3 overall and 4-3 in the Central Minnesota Meeting adhering to a doubleheader split with Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa on Monday.

ACGC head baseball mentor Chris Fellows, still left, instructs his gamers on the bases, including senior Logan Straumann, 11, in the course of a Central Minnesota Convention activity towards BBE on Monday, May possibly 2, 2022 at Kingery Area in Atwater.

Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

But as ACGC is seeking for regularity, the gamers are supportive of Fellows.

“He unquestionably is familiar with his stuff,” explained Falcons senior Jack Peterson. “It’s a minor distinctive acquiring a new head coach we experienced Mike for all these years and he appreciates so a great deal about the activity. To have a unique person, it usually takes a minimal bit for the staff to get utilised to.

“But I experience like we have truly modified perfectly to (Fellows) and I assume he certainly is aware of what he’s doing.”

Fellows performed large college baseball at Ortonville underneath his father Jon Fellows, who was inducted into the Minnesota State Large University Baseball Coaches Association Corridor of Fame in 2019.

“My dad was a head mentor for 30-furthermore many years,” Chris reported. He also coached the Ortonville Rox newbie baseball crew off-and-on from 2005-18. He is now playing for the Atwater Chuckers. “I always wanted to be a head coach.”

Chris went on to play for Division III baseball at Concordia-Moorhead as a remaining-handed pitcher.

Compared to Kingery’s history as a placement participant — an outfielder in the pros — Chris Fellows is leaning on his working experience as a pitcher to enrich the team’s arms.

But on the total, Fellows reported he and Kingery’s philosophies on the sport are really similar. The players ended up really hard pressed to locate significantly distinction between their coaching types.

“I’d say they are pretty very similar, just from Fellows buying up things from Kingery last year,” said senior Jaxon Behm.

Mentioned Fellows, “Mike was really, seriously good about (the coaching transition) and has been a great mentor for me as nicely. … For the most component, Mike and I are fairly equivalent.”

The Falcons are continue to generating runs at a superior price, averaging 6.7 for each sport. Very last season, ACGC’s large-powered offense, led by Mike’s son, Josh Kingery, averaged 8.6 operates for each recreation. With Josh graduating, this season’s squad has had to manufacture much more runs.

“I’m a lot more of a smaller-ball predicament sort of male, whereas Mike was far more of a cost-free swinger from time to time,” Fellows explained.

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ACGC freshman Jaxon Drange (middle) waits on the ball while BBE’s Will Van Beck slides into next foundation for the duration of a Central Minnesota Meeting activity on Monday, Could 2, 2022 at Kingery Field in Atwater. Heading into Tuesday, the Falcons are 6-3 this year.

Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

On the bench, Fellows goes for a significant-electrical power method, a trait he’s picked up as an elementary college phy ed instructor. And he’s designed it a position to continue to keep the team shut knit.

“We’re a tricky team of seniors, you could say we have our possess thoughts,” Peterson explained. “He’s undoubtedly performing a good job of trying to keep us all accountable. He expects a good deal of us and expects us to be very good guys on and off the industry.”

“The friendships and believe in we grew final season,” Behm added, “all that friendship and believe in is even now there.”

That accountability has worked equally methods and that was on show in the course of the doubleheader versus BBE.

After taking an 8-6 loss in Video game 1, Fellows rallied the team and required them to earn the evening cap for on their own, not just to quell their frustrations about the loss.

“It lights the fire, no question,” Behm reported. “That’s what we need to have correct now is that fire.”

Following a rough sixth inning in Video game 1, Peterson went to Fellows asking to address the workforce. Fellows left the team on your own, looking at as they rallied around every other.

Soon after using the Sport 1 reduction, ACGC rallied in Activity 2 for a 2-1 victory.

“That’s what coaches always want. We want players to be coaches as perfectly,” Fellows claimed. “That is what is terrific about players like Jack and Logan (Straumann) they teach the young youngsters and get on them if points aren’t likely well. … It’s encouraging to see them phase up as leaders.”

May perhaps will be a whirlwind with a cramped schedule because of to April postponements. Before the finish of the thirty day period, Fellows and the Falcons hope to provide one more part title to Kingery Industry.

“There are high expectations with seven of the 9 starters back again,” Fellows said. “They’re wonderful baseball players. There’ve been a couple of errors in this article or there early on that have expense us a couple ball game titles. But when points get rolling, I have the utmost self confidence we’ll be with anybody in the state.”