By STEVE KRAH
Purdue Polytechnic Englewood — a charter high school on the Near East Side of Indianapolis — becomes IHSAA baseball tournament-eligible in 2023.
The Techies are part of a Class 3A sectional grouping with Beech Grove, Christel House, Herron, Speedway and Washington.
Purdue Polytechnic Englewood (enrollment around 580) is a member of the Greater Indianapolis Conference (with Christel House, Eminence, Indiana Math & Science, Irvington Prep, Metropolitan, Riverside, Tindley, Victory Prep and Washington). IMS and Victory Prep are not expected to field baseball teams in 2023.
Eric James, who is an IT Specialist at the school and coached offensive linemen for the past four Purdue Polytechnic Englewood football seasons, is the Techies first-year head coach for the third-year baseball program. James was an assistant to Ryan Broadstreet in 2021 and 2022.
Player development is a priority for James.
“At our school a lot of the students don’t come to the school for athletics,” says James. “The guys that do come out have a love of baseball. I want to see strides of improvement. That’s my satisfaction.”
James is a 2013 graduate of Arsenal Tech High School in Indianapolis, where he played football, baseball and golf and participated for a short time in wrestling.
He was an Information Technology major and Management Information Systems minor at Indiana State University, graduating in 2017.
Purdue Polytechnic Englewood players participated in the Indianapolis RBI program in the summer and fall.
“That allowed them to get more reps and opportunities to play the game,” says James, who is assisted by Donald Baker III and Derrick Strode and expects around 18 players for a varsity-only season at Purdue Polytechnic Englewood in the spring. “We’re trying to get some recognition so our guys can play at the next level.”
The winter IHSAA Limited Contact Period is going on now.
“We’re just trying to get in as much of the fundamentals as possible,” says James, who has his Techies improving their footwork, agility as well as catching and throwing techniques. “We’re putting emphasis on fundamentals and why they do things and how it effects them on the field.
“We’re getting them as much baseball knowledge as we can.”
James attended his first Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association State Clinic Jan. 12-14 in Indianapolis.
He picked up many pointers on drills, strength and conditioning and more.
“It was very informative,” says James. “I did enjoy my time there.”
The Schweitzer Center at Englewood houses Purdue Polytechnic Englewood and Paramount Englewood (elementary). The schools are in the renovated P.R. Mallory Building.
Techies athletics use the facilities at T.C. Howe Community High School located about two miles to the east.
Purdue Polytechnic North is located in the former Broad Ripple High School. The Lynx have separate sports programs.