PHOTO COURTESY OF TWITTER.COM: Truman Devitt ’17 pictured during Mamaroneck’s 4-1 win over Fox Lane on April 28. Devitt pitched a complete game, allowing 1 earmed run.
It was June 13, 2015, ten months ago, when the Mamaroneck Baseball team rushed the field in Binghamton, celebrating a Class AA NYSPHSAA championship. It would be Mamaroneck’s third Class AA championship since 2008, and the first one since 2009. Much excitement and joy wafted through the high school in the hours and days post-championship, but the days of celebration are over. Now in the first days of May, the baseball season is already in full swing. The biggest question surrounding Mamaroneck Baseball as the season begins is how do you manage expectations for a team that has accomplished so much over such a short period of time? How do you balance the youthful nature of the team, not helped by the graduation of important position players, with the pressure of trying to get back to the biggest stage?
After surveying around the program, the answer seems to lie in the camaraderie of the team members. According to Matt Albert ’18, “[…] This year’s team has had a major theme of identity and closeness. The coaches do a great job in reinforcing the ideas that one player does not win a championship and that each and every player, no matter his role, contributes to the team.” When looking at the team from afar, that statement seems to ring true. For a group of people that spends much of its school day together, as well as its own time, it never seems to lose sight of the source of the friendships and connections: baseball. The joyfulness and laughter among team members helps to loosen the pressure and tension of a team expected to win.
The ability to manage expectations also stems from prior experience, and Mamaroneck Baseball certainly has plenty of that. Whether or not the current team members were in Binghamton last June, last year’s championship team can offer a lot of guidance for this year’s group. According to Mark Adamo ’17, “From last year’s team I learned the importance of the small things in the game. Just when you think it is all over, one pitch or one hit can change the whole dynamic of a game or a season.” Those little things are what can propel a team in any given situation. If, as a team, you know what to expect in different situations, the whole challenging, mental side of baseball eases up. The team that has confidence in themselves, their coaches, and their knowledge of what to do in critical situations, has a leg up on whatever opponent they are facing. With Mamaroneck Baseball, last year’s championship run certainly provides this year’s team with enough in-game experience to instill this confidence. Without it, managing extremely high expectations becomes a lot harder to handle.
The Mamaroneck Tigers baseball team is well on its way to defending its title. The team is 13-1 (as of May 2), with key games on the schedule coming up in the following weeks, such as two games against White Plains, the first on May 7 at White Plains, and the latter on May 10 at home. Since suffering a 4-1 defeat to North Rockland on April 6, the Tigers have rattled off 11 consecutive wins (as of May 2). If the team wants to continue the success it has experienced already, they must stay loose and have fun on the field. The most important aspect of maintaining success is that the team stays together and deals with the expectations in a positive light; with that, results are bound to come. For this team, it is those ideals that help keep them together. If that can be maintained, we might see another Tiger celebration come June.
By Jeremy Hoffner