Anyone who’s held the job would say that it’s hard enough being the Compton baseball coach, but sixth-year coach Lorenzo Reddick is dealing with a new level of difficulty–his team is currently without a field to practice on as Compton High is being torn down and rebuilt, and the campus has temporarily been relocated to a middle school.
“If you could see over here how we’re trying to practice,” he said with a laugh. “We’re on a football field and there’s gopher holes. We’re trying to use a little side field, any grass we can find. But I’m telling the kids we can’t worry about it and we can’t use anything as an excuse.”
Truthfully, it would be understandable if the Compton squad was feeling sorry for themselves. The team wasn’t able to field a team last year mid-pandemic, as Reddick said he had only seven or eight players available on a given day. That number has jumped back up to 14 or 15, the normal number for the program.
“COVID has hit us hard, but we’re excited for this season, we’re looking forward to it,” he said.
Reddick’s positivity comes with heard-earned experience. After building the Compton program from the ground up for a few years, they were off to a strong 4-2 start in 2020 with a promising freshman class to build around.
“We were off to a good start, we had good chemistry, we had guys coming to practice every day,” Reddick said. “Then COVID hit.”
Two years later they’re back on their feet and ready to compete in the Moore League gauntlet, with four-year varsity player Jose Gonzalez leading the way. The senior catcher and first baseman will lead Compton offensively and defensively.
“We’re making the best out of everything this year,” said Gonzalez. “We’re not making excuses, we’re just going to play our hearts out this year. It’s amazing to get to wear a Compton hat, a Compton uniform this year.”
Edgar Covarrubias is the other senior leader, and will start at shortstop. Reddick also likes newcomer Jacob Garcia, a sophomore who will start at second base, Gabriel Ramirez in outfield, and starting pitcher Faustino Cano. Jesus Lonares will see time at catcher and first base this year for Compton.