A week from today, the gates to historic Richards Park will open for the first time this spring.

The 2014 Waxahachie Indian baseball team will begin practices Jan. 24. For the four weeks after that, the team will play eight scrimmages to help prepare for the season-opener, which will be during the Grapevine First Pitch Tournament on Feb. 20.

The scrimmages will mostly be at Richards Park. The team will play an intrasquad contest Feb. 1. Waxahachie will get its first taste of a different team at 5 p.m. Feb. 4 against Fort Worth Arlington Heights. Waxahachie will also host Arlington Martin, South Grand Prairie, Forney and Dallas W.T. White between Feb. 8 and 18. The Indiansí only road scrimmages will be at Midlothian on Feb. 15 when they play a double-header against Midlothian and Waco Midway.

Waxahachie will play in three tournaments this season before district play begins. Those three tournaments mean the Indians play in 14 games over the span of nine days.

First, the team will play in the tournament in Grapevine. On day one, the Indians will face Tascoso and Keller in a double-header with the games beginning at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at Keller High School. The next day, the team will play against Canyon and Flower Mound in a double-dip starting at 1 p.m. at Colleyville Heritage HS. On Feb. 22, the Indians will play their final two games of the tournament against Trinity and Plano West beginning at 1 p.m. back at Keller High School.

That tournament will really test the Indians and the squad will need all pitchers to be ready to go. After graduating three starters last year, it will be interesting to see how the team does in this first week of games.

Waxahachieís second tournament will be the annual Robert Dulin Tournament at Richards Park. Six teams will play each other over the course of three days.

First, the Indians will open the event at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 27 against Birdville. Waxahachie will then bookend the day with an 8:30 p.m. contest against Stephenville. On day two, Waxahachie will play Dallas W.T. White at 9:30 a.m. to start a dayful of games. The Indians will then play Coppell at 1:30 p.m. The tournament will end when the Indians take on rival Midlothian at 2 p.m. March 1.

The final tournament for the team will be the next week as it travels to Waco for the Midway Tournament. At 11:30 a.m. March 6, the Indians will face A&M Consolidated. Later that day, the team will play at 4:30 p.m. against the host Midway squad. The next day, Waxahachie will face Arkansasí Bryant at 2 p.m. The tournament will end when the team takes on Tyler Lee at 1 p.m. March 8.

After those tournaments, district play begins with a matinee affair against Lancaster at noon March 11. Day games are allowed during spring break. All other games will start at 7 p.m.

Even though it will still be spring break, the Indians will visit defending district champion Mansfield Legacy on March 14. The Broncos swept Waxahachie out of the playoffs last year.

The first round of district will also see the Indians host Mansfield Lake Ridge, which is expected to be the most improved team in the district, and Ennis.

Waxahachie will have to go on the road to Arlington Seguin, Mansfield Summit and Red Oak as well in the first half of district play.

Thatís a tough first half, but the Indians do have a pretty balanced district schedule as they never have to play the three other playoff teams from last year, Legacy, Summit and Red Oak in back-to-back games