A coach always wants his team to play well, but when his team is making a rare appearance before families and friends, the coach's desire for a quality performance can increase significantly.
That's the case with Berkeley Prep's baseball team, which is on a week-long trip to Sacramento, Calif. Bucs coach Clyde Keller is a native of the area and he admits with a laugh he longs to see his team do well in the place where he grew up.
"We put a little pressure on them to see how they would respond," Keller said. "They've got some good ball programs out here so we have to be on our toes. I'm familiar with the area and I know what kind of ballplayers come out of here.
"It's a big lift whenever we can come out here and play well."
On Monday, the Bucs overcame some early-game jitters to defeat Foothill High 3-2.
The victory raised the Bucs record to 9-3.
Today, the Bucs take on Colfax High and on Saturday they challenge Rio Americana High.
Not only does the California trip, the team's second in two years, provide good competition, but it helps bring the team together.
Upon returning, the Bucs get a measure of the trip's benefits in a home game against Tampa Catholic next Thursday.
_ ERNEST HOOPER