Baseball is Back at NECC
After last year’s lackluster 7-22 baseball season, coach Chris Shanahan, who had just completed his first year coaching for NECC, promised the team this year would be better. And it was. The team finished with a 22-12 record and the state title. And they were the number one seed in the region.
“Honestly, after last year I questioned my ability to be head coach,” Shanahan says. “But this group of players restored my belief in myself in and college kids in general. I had 19kids who put their team before themselves.”
Going into the 2011 season Shanahan thought this would be a rebuilding year, but his recruits showed more talent than he had anticipated. Add to that dedication and determination to be as good in the classroom as on the field and he found himself with a group of players who were eager to be taught college level skills and commit to weight training.
“These guys are honestly the best around since I’ve been coaching college baseball,” he says. “They are a close-knit group.”
The unofficial team motto was “one team, one goal,” he says, and each player embraced it.
“I would tell them, ‘Play for the guy beside you.’ And they would,” he says.
“This has been the best four months of my life,” says Shanahan. “I’ve had more fun this year than when I was playing college baseball.” In addition to putting in time on the field, the players also sold tickets for the Red Sox Foundation and participated in local community service projects.
Overall, the team has turned around, he says.
“We made great strides,” he says. “We are headed in the right direction.”
For their efforts, four of his sophomores will be heading off to Dakota State and Keene State.
“All we really want,” says Shanahan, “is to see them succeed and prepare them to go on to earn a four-year degree.”