In the new year of 2023, a ring that has not been seen before is shining on the hand of coach Kim Seung-gwan (47) of Daegu Sangwon High School.
Manager Kim smiled and said it was the ring from the 2002 Korean Series championship ring while playing for Samsung. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Daegu Sangwon High School (formerly Daegu Commercial High School). Coach Kim expressed his determination, saying, “As it is a meaningful year at the start of a new century at Sangwon High School, I want to bring back the winning flag of the National High School Baseball Championship in 50 years to my alma mater.”
Sangwon High School is a prestigious school that boasts of winning 12 of the four major national competitions hosted by media outlets. In addition, the National Sports Festival won nine championships, including four consecutive victories (1966-1969). However, it remains a regrettable memory to lose three consecutive victories. Coach Kim said, “Even now, alumni still regret losing in the final match of the 1975 phoenix after winning consecutive championships in 1973 and 1974. At the time, the opponent in the final was Gyeongbuk High School, a rival in the trend, and if we had won the game, we would have been the first and only team in the country to permanently preserve the phoenix, so I remember it as a more bitter moment.”
Director Kim said, “I know better than anyone the school and alumni’s desire to revive the old glory of the baseball team. This year, of course, I will hold the phoenix in my arms as well as other competitions,” he said resolutely.
The school is also giving full support. The nation’s highest level regular standard stadium is equipped with lighting facilities that allow night games. In addition, a pitcher’s mound for major leagues, professional team-level artificial turf, a gym, a restaurant, a coach’s office, and a VIP room are equipped with various convenience facilities, which is rare even in high schools in Japan, an advanced country in baseball.
Coach Kim is entering his fourth year as head coach this year. The players he scouted three years ago to accomplish the feat of winning his centenary national championship are now established across all grades.
In particular, Lee Ho-jun (junior) and Lim Sang-hyeon (junior), the pillars of pitching, hold the key to the success of Sangwon High School this year.
Lee Ho-jun, a nimble shortstop with a height of 175 cm and 73 kg, has three generations of his grandfather from this school. When he entered high school, the blood of the ‘baseball family’ was flowing from the time he was born to the extent that he wrote down Sangwon High School in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in the application column for the desired school. 토토사이트
Equipped with 3 beats of ball, water and week, his greatest strength is that he knows baseball. The ability to cope with the situation, predict the play in advance and take a position first in defense. Sangwon High School batting coach Yang Yong-mo praised Ho-jun, saying, “Ho-jun has a natural baseball sense that can never be conveyed by teaching.”
Lim Sang-hyun is the ace of the self-recognized team. He throws a curveball, changeup, and slide with a heavy fastball of 147km that comes out of his 183cm · 86kg body. He is known for his precise control and sharp-swinging sliders.
Lim Sang-hyeon’s teacher, coach Cho Moon-sik of Gumi Middle School, said, “Sang-hyeon is a former shortstop and is excellent at defense and hitting. If he does not pitch, he is a player who can hit 4 times right away at Senate High School,” he said.
Lim Sang-hyun said, “This year, I will bring two trophies to win the national championship. And he has not won against Daegu High School in the past three years. This year, I want to return all the debt I owed to Daegu High School.”
Director Kim Seung-kwan has one best friend. Lee Seung-yeop is a well-known Doosan coach.
Doosan coach Lee Seung-yeop said, “As we have the big task of winning the national championship in the year of the school’s 100th anniversary, we can’t help but feel a sense of pressure.” I think it’s important to make a positive atmosphere come naturally from the players and coaching staff.”
Director Lee continued, “If I have to say anything, I think it should be a grade that I can accept by looking at this year’s report card around this time next year. If you can’t do that, you shouldn’t have regrets that you will work harder at that time. A pro should never have regrets,” he gave friendly advice.