Freshman pitcher has stellar season
Freshmen Aidan O'Dowd is throwing the ball at practice at Lakevista Park on Jan. 21,2016. O'Dowd is practicing his pitching,O'Dowd does his own practice outside of school. "I love the suspense that the game brings. Many things can happen through the best player or the worst player. At one moment in time it works and sometimes it does not,” O'Dowd said. (SANJULO KING | SNN)
BY SANJULO KING
SNN Staff Writer
Aidan O’Dowd, this year’s starting pitcher for the Lakewood High School baseball team, is only a freshman.
“I don’t think my teammates have a problem with it,” O’Dowd said about his underclassman status. “They started out young as well, so they understood my position.”
O’Dowd, who has been playing baseball since he was 9, is in the Center for Advanced Technologies program.
“I chose Lakewood because of the CAT program. … I wanted to help the baseball team, (and) do well academically,” he said.
Coach Jayce Ganchou described O’Dowd as a great player with a strong passion for the game.
“He presents himself as a lot more mature then most freshmen, and his baseball IQ is amazing,” he said. “He works very hard on his own and with the coaches. … I knew halfway through the fall that Aidan was going to be my number one.”
Ganchou said O’Dowd, who also plays first base, will be a great player in the coming years and a big help to the team.
His strengths, Ganchou said, are that he is a “hard worker, super competitive and always wants the ball.”
Ganchou said O’Dowd has a unique personality on the field.
“When he is pitching he gets fired up, and is his own biggest critic,” he said.
Freshman Jeremy Texel, who plays outfielder and is a right-handed pitcher, said O’Dowd is a good leader.
“He’s always trying to focus on the game,” he said. “He is smart on the field and when he gets up on that mound, you know what he’s going to do.”
O’Dowd has to balance baseball with academics, so when he gets home from school, he finishes his homework first before his personal training and goes practice.
“School always comes before baseball,” he said.
O’Dowd practices at Lake Vista from 2:45-4:45 p.m. every day except game days. He said his favorite thing about baseball is its unpredictability.
“I love the suspense that the game brings. Many things can happen through the best player or the worst player. At one moment in time it works and sometimes it does not,” he said.
O’Dowd said he likes Ganchou’s coaching style. He describes him as “unorthodox.”
“But he gets the job done and he does it well,” he said.
In addition, O’Dowd has great chemistry with his teammates.
“They’re awesome; this is the best team,” he said.
O’Dowd’s goal for the coming years is to continue to do well and maintain his starting position.
“To do well, I am a freshmen and the main starting pitcher so it’s a lot, but I just have to try my best every game, put 100 percent in everything,” he said.