Wood steers Bulldogs on historic ride

Just past noon on Tuesday, South Callaway baseball coach Jared Wood gathers his team in the home dugout of the baseball field at the Fulton High School athletic complex.

Wood scheduled practice at Fulton to simulate the field conditions for tonight’s Class 2 state semifinal against the Clever Blue Jays (26-3) at Meador Park in Springfield.

He wants the Bulldogs (19-5) loose and ready for the school’s first-ever trip to the final four. So much so, that he invites his players to bring any video-game consoles with them to set up in their hotel rooms.

He intends to keep himself calm as well. By playing those games with them.

“I’m a big gamer, believe it or not,” the Bulldogs’ first-year coach said. “I like the sports games, “Modern Warfare,” “Black Ops.” I’m just a big kid myself, so I’ll get in there and compete with them as well.”

Wood’s coaching approach isn’t an uncommon one. He’d like his team to “enjoy themselves but work hard.” His players have seen both sides of that coin.

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