Fettes and Ventures set to begin spring season on the diamond

By: Mike Moore | Madison - Park News | Published March 18, 2016

 Senior catcher Griffin Green works out with the ropes during the strength training portion of practice. Madison Heights Bishop Foley expects to contend in Division 3 again this year.

Senior catcher Griffin Green works out with the ropes during the strength training portion of practice. Madison Heights Bishop Foley expects to contend in Division 3 again this year.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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MADISON HEIGHTS — All of two practices were in the books, and both were held indoors.

Not long removed from his time as a player, Greg Fettes knows these are the dog days of the baseball season.

“As a player, you don’t like this, being inside, taking grounders off the floor. I remember that. I’m sure these guys feel the same,” Fettes, 22, said early last week. “They want to see live pitching. They want to face a real opponent.”

Fettes, who is in his first season with the Madison Heights Bishop Foley baseball team, will get that chance shortly.

In fact, the Ventures are scheduled to open the season March 23 at home in the annual spring break tournament, weather permitting.

But wherever and whenever the season does get going, Fettes said he can already tell he’s got a solid group that should be in the discussion when it comes to some of the best teams in Division 3.

“We’re going to be very strong,” he said simply. “We have a good senior base of guys who’ve taken that lead role real well. We also have some juniors who are acting in the leadership role as well.”

The Ventures finished last year at 20-8.

It was only two seasons ago that Foley was a three-time defending state champ.

But since then, Fettes is the program’s third coach in three years, so establishing a footing, especially early on, is key.

“The end all, be all, is a state title,” Fettes said when he was asked about season goals. “But we’ve talked about playing good, fundamental baseball. We want to hit, field and throw strikes. That’s the key. One day at a time.”

When hired in December, Fettes said the main reason he jumped at the opportunity was because Foley is “a great baseball school.”

Fettes is no stranger to the game.

He played college baseball at the University of Kentucky before being drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 2011 in the 43rd round and then the Oakland Athletics in the 39th round of the 2015 draft, going No. 1,178 overall.

“It’s definitely different from playing,” he said of being a first-year coach. Fettes graduated from Madison Heights Lamphere in 2011 and was named second-team All-State twice. “I still feel like I can jump in and play. At the same time, it’s been fun working with them and seeing what they have. We’re taking it one day at a time right now, just trying to get better.”

Getting to know his guys, inside or on an actual field, is the key right now.

“We’ve already seen some good things,” Fettes added. “We’ve had a few guys step forward. We’ve seen some freshmen with great upside, young guys who will see some time on the varsity level. This can be a very good team.”

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