The baseball team is swinging for the fences. With hard work and exceptional team chemistry, the BHS varsity baseball team is pitching for a championship. The team currently stands with a 12-2 record. Their only losses are against top opponents including Colchester, St. Johnsbury and Essex.
With eight seniors coming into the huddle, the team strived for a 14-2 record during the regular season. High records like these haven’t been reached since 1997, when team headed into the semi-final game.
Securing a six seed heading into the playoffs, the Seahorses face No. 11 South Burlington (10-6) in the first round tonight at Orrie Jay Field.
The team started preparing for this season all the way back in the beginning of the school year with team runs and exercise. Their hard work and ambition is clearly paying off. Putting in that hard work together for so long has helped bring the team together.
“My favorite part about the team is that we are a team. On bus trips, there are 16 players on the team and 16 kids’ talk to each other on the way down. At practice we have 16 kids, picking up 16 kids’ efforts. The strong unity is what makes it fun to go to practice,” said Head Coach Marcel Girouard.
The team chemistry is so good that it is some of the players favorite thing about being on the team.
“My favorite thing about the team is the camaraderie. We all have the same kind of mindset and we all are on the same mission. It’s cool to be on a team with a group of guys who are motivated and all want to do something together,” co-captain Sky Rahill said, a BHS junior.
“Baseball gave me work ethic. It taught me a bunch of leadership skills, and has shaped me to be competitive and passionate about something. My goal as a captain is to bring the guys together, steer the ship, unify them, and to get the boys hyped up,” Rahill said.
Chris Richard, the coach for the Essex Hornets varsity team, and a BHS graduate, credits his high school coaches, Jim Billings and Wayne Courcy, with teaching him many life lessons that he passes on today.
“My goal for the season is simple. Be successful and have fun. Of course our win loss record is important but there’s more to it then just winning games. I want to teach the game to our players,” Richard said in an interview via email.
“If we face BHS in the playoffs our game plan would be to come ready to play. Coach Girouard has a very good group of young men wanting to win,” Richard wrote.
The Seahorses are poised to finish strong. Their challenge is keeping energized and unified.
“Our challenge this season is staying focused. Coming into games with a good emphasis on how we need to play and not becoming cocky,” junior Eli Pine said.
Girouard, now in his 18th year as baseball coach and math teacher at BHS, was captured by the game when he was a seven year old boy, playing with his family in the backyard of his house up in the Northeast Kingdom.
“There are some sports that are limiting depending on your size and your speed. In baseball there is literally a position for everybody, regardless of your genetic makeup. That is what makes baseball such a great sport,” Girouard said.
UPDATE: The Seahorses went on to defeat South Burlington, 2-0, in the first round of the playoffs.