07/04/2009 9:41 AM
4 July 2009
Coach brings energy to the Harwich dugout
HARWICH, Mass—Sometimes a team needs an extra boost in a game to get something rolling—an extra hit, an extra out, an extra inning.
"It all starts with the coach," said right handed pitcher Chase Reid (Vanderbilt) about the energy on a baseball field. And Harwich's manager Steve Englert is notorious for bringing an infectious energy to the dugout.
Englert, who led the 2008 Harwich Mariners to the league championship, is back for his 11th year with the team.
"I don't think anyone cares more about baseball on the Cape. He delivers it in a different attitude," said General Manager John Reid. "He stays real positive with (the players)--critical at points but I think that's one of his plusses."
Managers in any league try to build up a special relationship with their players, trying to understand each individual’s needs and creating chemistry in the dugout, but in the Cape League, many understand there's another important element to include.
"He knows all these guys are worked hard all year long, and it’s tough and it’s summer baseball, and you have to make it fun. I think he combines those real well," said John Reid.
And the players appreciate his approach.
Returning pitcher Brian Dupra (Notre Dame) said "it’s a lot of fun which is what I think you need in a summer league. He's always an energetic guy, he's always making it exciting to play baseball."
Newcomer Mathew Price (Virginia Tech) agreed. "It makes it a lot of fun to come to the baseball field every day and have an energetic coach who is ready to go and get you fired up to play and get better at baseball every day."
For many of the players, the summer league is an extension of their spring seasons. Some have not been home since Christmas, instead coming directly off their college seasons to the Cape. And that can make it hard to keep up a level of intensity that players need here in the Cape League, facing other top collegiate players.
"Everyone is a really good player around here," said Dupra, "So if you can have a little more extra intensity when you play then that's something that you reach for every day at the ballpark."
Dupra continued, "I like to think that he gives us that extra boost that we need sometimes to get us over a long game, maybe a game where extra innings happen." Last year, Harwich played an 18 inning game against Orleans, pushing through to win on a dropped fly ball to left field.
Englert’s energy helped the team come together as a unit last year through a tough patch mid season, and the team is looking to him again as Harwich is off to a rocky start in 2009, losing 6 of their last 8 games.
By Ashley Crosby, CCBL Intern ([email protected])
Interns: Chris Blake, James Chandley, Ashley Crosby, Phil Garceau, Michael Campbell, Katy Ann Fitzpatrick