The Academy at the Lakes baseball team knows how to do Spring Break right.
During the private school’s recent vacation, coach Ken Akins took his ragtag Class 2A ball club on a weeklong, three-game trip down to the Florida Keys.
It’s a trip he started doing while at Carrollwood Day, so the players he coaches can experience an amazing trip during their high school career.
“It’s really a vacation, with baseball sprinkled in between,” Akins said. “We had a great time and this is always a highlight when we can make it happen. It’s all up to the families, so we try to make it the best family experience, too.”
The Wildcats started off the trip playing a game on March 28 vs. Coral Shores, which is in Tavnerier on Key Largo, but sadly they lost 1-0 on a walk-off double in the seventh inning. It continued on March 29 when AATL played Key West and lost 7-0.
“That team has 11 state titles,” Akins said. “We know we’re going against a powerhouse.”
The third day, March 30, the Wildcats were supposed to go on a snorkeling trip, however, the seas were too rough and the team ended up going to Key West for the team-building outing. Players and family would still be able to enjoy some fishing, paddle-boarding and other exploring, after finishing up the third game.
That game was an all-around team win on March 31, defeating Marathon 11-1 behind a five-inning, three-hit, eight-strikeout pitching performance from Nick Cameron. Vincent Verpault, Andrew Thalleen, Cole Syversen and Tanner Pelaez all drove in two RBI each.
“It was a phenomenal adventure,” Akins added. “I really like to take advantage of Spring Break and use it to get our 25 games in. We keep the family in mind with this trip, but then sprinkle in a little baseball, too.”
Published April 13, 2022
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