For the primary time in program historical past, Kennedy’s baseball group is within the closing 4.
After wins over Columbia Station (10-2) and Tiffin Calvert (7-2) within the regional spherical, Kennedy punched its ticket to the state event held at Canal Park in Akron.
For first-year coach Jim Ciambotti, a tradition shift has been essential to the group’s success.
“We simply tried to put in our tradition,” Ciambotti stated. “How we needed to do issues day-in and day-out, apply, video games, taking in the future at a time. Concentrate on that day, don’t fear about 10 days from now or our opponent in two weeks. We’re anxious in regards to the apply at hand or the following recreation at hand.”
That strategy has guided the group to a 20-9 document, and the Eagles have remained calm regardless of the ever-rising stakes.
“Within the recreation of baseball, I believe it’s essential that you simply keep on a good keel,” Ciambotti stated. “I’ve instructed the children, ‘This recreation can humble you.’
You assume you’ve received it discovered and it may bury you the following day, or the following at-bat or the following pitch. It’s a recreation of failure. Baseball’s a recreation of failure, so you must keep on a good keel and simply attempt to keep as constant as you possibly can.”
Whereas it could be the primary time for the baseball group, the athletes on the group aren’t any strangers to the large stage, which can clarify the calmness.
On this tutorial yr alone, Kennedy has had two groups attain the state degree. Together with the baseball group, the Eagles soccer group reached the state finals the place they misplaced to New Bremen. The boys basketball group additionally had a event run, reaching the regional finals the place they fell to Richmond Heights.
“I believe it exhibits the character of the children and the households they arrive from,” Ciambotti stated. “Clearly, that helps with the opposite sports activities, particularly with the younger youngsters being thrown within the hearth. Two or three of them have been by way of it with basketball. (The expertise) helps out tremendously, however once more, it goes to the character of the children.”
One participant has performed an important position in all three of these runs. Cam Hollobaugh.
The senior has led all three groups on deep playoff runs in his senior marketing campaign and is trying to lengthen his time in an Eagles uniform for so long as potential earlier than heading off to Walsh College as a two-sport athlete.
“It feels nice,” Hollobaugh stated. “It’s my senior yr, particularly and to have the ability to go far in each sport, not all people can say they did that, and it’s making my senior yr longer and I like that.”
As the one senior on the roster, Hollobaugh had the duty of guiding a group with little or no expertise earlier than the season. With the 2020 season being worn out, there have been two courses that had no varsity expertise. Hollobaugh was in a position to put his management abilities to the check and information the group in the fitting course.
“I simply form of lead by instance,” the Eagles’ pitcher and shortstop stated. “Hold them composed, particularly as a result of our group’s younger. I simply preserve their heads on, lead him in the fitting course, allow them to know what to do and speak to them. Communication is vital with the youthful group like that.”
There’s solely 11 gamers on Kennedy’s roster, 4 of which performed earlier than this season. Hollobaugh notes that they’re a group that depends on high quality, not amount.
“It simply exhibits our power shouldn’t be in numbers,” Hollobaugh stated. “It’s the standard of us as a group and it simply exhibits how unhealthy we wish it. Particularly as a result of we’re taking part in groups with 20 guys on the roster and doubtlessly some faculties have greater than that. … It simply goes to point out the 9 guys we placed on the sector and what they’ll do.”
With just one senior on the roster, Ciambotti hopes journeys to Akron can develop into an everyday prevalence within the years to return.
“It’s superior, it’s humbling,” he stated. “I by no means thought we’d get this far this fast. When you’ve gamers just like the Hollobaughs and Shrums and Hadleys, clearly issues pace up. We’re simply glad to be right here.
“The necessary factor I wish to emphasize is that we wish to proceed this. We wish this to be a tradition, we wish this to be yr in and yr out. There’s no guarantees that we ever get again right here, however we wish to simply proceed this sooner or later.”
Kennedy’s contest in opposition to Fort Loramie was initially scheduled for at the moment, however was pushed again to Saturday for climate issues. First pitch is about for 1 p.m. at Canal Park in Akron.
At the moment’s breaking information and extra in your inbox