Sports teams have different ways of bonding within a locker room and connecting with fans.
The A&M Consolidated baseball team has taken a popular modern avenue to achieve those goals: social media. The Tigers are active on different platforms like Twitter and TikTok. From posting starting lineup graphics and lighthearted team-related videos, the Consol baseball team brings the fun online.
Assistant coach Justin Garcia runs the team’s social media channels and creates content, such as videos and captions, alongside fellow Consol assistant BJ Burton, who handles most of the graphics. Players have pitched ideas at times, too. The team began using TikTok last September, and its offseason videos have carried over into the season this spring. Consol’s Twitter account has almost 2,000 followers and its TikTok page has over 11,000 likes.
“On social media, everybody has a microphone, so we’ve just found it to be a good way to engage with the school and the students,” Garcia said. “We’ve been in class, and students have come up and been like, hey, we saw this video or we saw so-and-so player, and they think it’s awesome. I do think that compared to some of the universities, our stuff is really good. There’s no other high school that we’ve seen at least with TikTok. A lot of high schools have Instagram, but I think ours is way better. Same thing on Twitter. I think our content is really, really good.”
Team videos use social media trends to highlight players and key moments from games. Team events, such as a snow cone day after practice or brunch at a local restaurant, have also been documented. After wins, Consol’s coaches choose a player of the game and award them with the “Big Game Hunter” belt and post a graphic with the player’s game stats. Covering the infield with a tarp garnered over 82,000 views on TikTok, which is the team’s most-viewed video.
“It’s a big game week, but here comes Garcia around the corner saying, let’s do this for a TikTok,” Consol senior Christian Letendre said. “And all of the sudden you’re just having fun and not worrying about some dude throwing 90 mph tomorrow or later on in the week.”
Consol coach Ryan Lennerton has been the main subject of several videos. One of them joked that Lennerton doubles as Batman by night. Another was a compilation of players impersonating Lennerton’s popular sayings and mannerisms. While Lennerton said he prefers to defer the spotlight to his players, he goes along with the fun.
“I think them being able to get on there and see themselves and see their buddies, it adds a little bit to it. I think their parents like to see them on there,” Lennerton said. “I think it helps with our image in the district, in the community. There’s been a lot of people that have come up to me and say, hey, we follow you on social media and it’s really cool. Otherwise, they probably wouldn’t care or know about Consol baseball.”
The Tigers have also used their social media accounts to reach fans. The team posted a video offering to give away free T-shirts to students who attended a game against Brenham over spring break. Another video had players dressed in uniform walking around campus to honor different teachers and staff members, such as Consol principal Gwen Elder and football coach Lee Fedora, who was deemed “the man, the myth, the legend” in a caption. Senior catcher Chase Sodolak said his favorite videos have included players naming their celebrity crush and which teammate they would choose to walk down with in a dark alley.
“I feel like it brings us to a not-so-serious perspective on things,” Sodolak said. “It kind of gives us a chance to goof around. It’s fun to get all the guys together and just have a good laugh. I think it also gives us a chance to highlight what we’re doing here and to get it out there.”
While the Tigers (10-4-2, 5-2) are mostly fun and games on social media channels, Consol looks to remain all business on the field in a competitive District 19-5A. The Tigers are currently in second place and will host Magnolia West (10-9, 5-3) at 7 p.m. Friday. The Mustangs beat Consol 2-0 on Tuesday and trail the Tigers by a half-game in the district standings.
“I think the social media stuff is fun for them to do, and Burton and Garcia do a great job with it being a 10-minute thing,” Lennerton said. “It doesn’t take all day. It doesn’t cut into our practice time, so I think it’s just another thing that we do th... Click here to read full article