When Hinsdale South coach Paul Hoel says he is coaching seven days a week this summer, he means it.
Baseball has become an every-day profession for Hoel, who enters his second season in his second stint as Hornets coach next spring. He led Hinsdale South to the West Suburban Gold championship in the spring after last coaching the team several years ago.
Monday through Thursday, Hoel is coaching the Hornets in their final weeks of the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association summer league season. The league’s regionals will be held next week.
But on weekends, Hoel is coaching a travel team called the Elmhurst Stars, which consists of many members of the York baseball team.
Hoel, a former Elmhurst resident, recently moved to Darien with his family and his son, Brian, who has transferred from York to Hinsdale South. Brian, an infielder, has been playing with the Hornets summer league team during the week and will attend Hinsdale South for the first time this fall as a junior.
The Elmhurst Stars are made up of many of Brian’s former York teammates. Several of them live in the same neighborhood where Hoel formerly lived.
“We’re getting good competition and good pitching,” Hoel said. “We’re playing on weekends so the kids get another 60 plate appearances over about 25 games.”
Hoel estimated that his son will play in nearly 52 games over seven weeks this summer.
The Stars ended June with a tournament in Rockford, played at the minor league park, RiverHawks Stadium, which is the home of the city’s Frontier League team. Last weekend, the Stars played a tournament at Mooseheart near Batavia.
Hoel added one other player from Hinsdale South when 6-foot-5 junior right-hander Jonathan Uba of Darien agreed to play for the Stars.
Uba, who played on the Hornets’ sophomore team last season, is on a strict pitch count this summer between Hinsdale South’s summer league team, during the week and with the Stars on weekends.
Uba has been restricted to nearly 100 pitches a week, breaking up his total to nearly 50 for each team.
“I look forward to seeing him over the winter offseason,” Hoel said. “By throwing some long toss, he could increase 5-6 mph on his fastball. His upside is huge. At 6-5, by his senior year he could be in the 90 (mph) area.”
Hoel, who coaches frosh-soph golf in the fall at Hinsdale South, is looking forward to taking a break later this month before preseason practice begins for golf in mid-August.
“I like it. (The baseball schedule) is not too rough,” Hoel said. “I enjoy it. It’s easy when you’re interested in the kids and how they do.”