From baseball’s periphery to ’emerging powerhouse’… Gangneung High School, the secret to success is

The history of the baseball department at Gangneung High School, the “new baseball prestigious”, is divided into before and after the appointment of coach Jaeho Choi (62) in June 2016.

Gangneung High School, located in Gangneung City, Gangwon Province, was treated like a marginalized high school baseball team for 42 years from its foundation in 1975 until 2016. It is because it had no wins in major competitions such as four major competitions (Ponghwangdaegi, Blue Dragon Open, Golden Lion, and Presidential Cup). It was only one advance to the finals (second place) in the Blue Dragon Open.

However, the legend of Gangneung High School started after Choi took office. For seven years up to this year, Gangneung High School competed with Choi for the title at major high school baseball competitions including the National Sports Festival and the Shinsegae E-Mart Cup.헤라카지노

In particular, Gangneung High School gained a reputation by winning the presidential cup in 2020 and the golden lion flag in 2021. Gangneung High School is the first to win four major championships at high schools in Gangwon Province, which was like a barren baseball field. Gangneung High School even lifted the trophy for the National Sports Festival in 2021.

The status of Gangneung High School has changed since the draw for national championships. The rival teams that once cheered when they met Gangneung High School in the first round are now treated as “Gangho” to the extent that they say, “I can hear the sound of a song.”

Choi’s first coaching philosophy, which made Gangneung High School a prestigious baseball club, is to use the club based on its ability. “The ground is a glorious place where only sweaty players, prepared players and talented players can stand,” Choi said. “I will never see Gangneung become a sparring partner for another team. The only reason I came to Gangneung is to win the first prize.”

“It is said that times have changed and the world has become a world where the leader looks at the player,” Choi said. “But if you don’t say anything even if you lose the game, and if you can’t help it even if you don’t advance to the professional league, why do you need a leader?”

“Even the key player who spent years painstaking efforts to get scholarships to leave the team, if he says he will leave the team, I will let him go without hesitation,” he said. “The choice and decision is up to the player. There is no player who takes precedence over the team.”

Choi puts “student nature” ahead of individual skills. “If a high school baseball player who is in the process of learning is good at baseball, he will be good at it, and if he is not good at it, he will be bad at it,” Choi said. “Student baseball should be like student baseball. He emphasized that he strives constantly, has the spirit not to be intimidated by the opponent in any situation, plays with energy, manners toward his teacher, seniors, and juniors, and is next to skill.”

Coach Choi has banned athletes from overseas winter training during his 41-year leadership career, including head coach Gangneung High School. “Players from wealthy families will not have any problem going to the U.S. for off-season training, but the reality is that there are more families that do not,” he said. “As the purpose of winter training is to prepare for July and August, when the physical burden is high, we are giving athletes intensive training that suits that purpose.”

Gangneung High School Cheongwol Indoor Baseball Stadium, the largest in Korea. Gangneung = Reporter Park Sang-eun

In fact, Gangneung High School has the highest level of indoor training facilities in high schools that allow winter training without having to go abroad. A regular baseball stadium that allows night games, a large indoor practice range of 550 pyeong, and a fitness center dedicated to the baseball team are envied by other teams. In addition, the second floor of the new dormitory is equipped with a room for two people, an outdoor rest room, and a large meeting room for the baseball team to further solidify its position as a new prestigious baseball club.

Kim Gil-soo, president of the Gangwon-do Baseball Association, gave a thumbs-up, saying, “Gangneung High School is the pride of Gangwon-do as a whole beyond Gangneung.” “On the day of this year’s Shinsegae E-Mart Cup final, many citizens were discouraged because of the large forest fire in Gangneung,” he said. “At that time, even though the third-year ace Cho Dae-hyun was also unable to take the mound due to pitching restrictions, many Gangneung citizens were encouraged by the determination shown around the lower grades and the way he did not give up and held on to the end despite difficult situations.”

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