This spring's award program honored over 25 student-athletes for their athletic excellence.
Varsity Baseball - Boys
|No.||First Name||Last Name||Class|
Varsity Season Record: 11-9
Captains: Sam LaFontaine ’16 and Liam Sullivan ’16
Athletic Awards: Gold Medal Award: Sam LaFontaine ’16; Most Valuable Player: Sam LaFontaine ’16; Most Improved Player: Michael Pamer ’17; E. Michael House Spirit Award: Liam Sullivan ‘16
The Western Reserve Academy baseball team ended the 2016 season with a 11-9 record, making this the fifth consecutive winning season for the team. After losing many experienced players to graduation, there were some pretty big shoes to fill, but many stepped up to make this another successful season. “I think we turned some heads,” said head coach Rich Hoffman.
Graduating seniors Sam LaFontaine and Liam Sullivan, both three-sport letter recipients, led the Pioneers this season. Sam was clutch at the plate and consistently knocked in runs. Dedicated to the baseball program for four years and a true asset to the WRA baseball team, Sam earned his second Gold Medal Award of the year. The Most Improved Player, Michael Pamer, provided reliable pitching all season long and brought a consistent bat to the lineup. Rising seniors Joey Randazzo, Max Burkhart and Michael Malen worked hard each game to get the job done and have laid the groundwork for an even better season next year.
Together, the team pushed through injury and other team challenges, but fought hard each game regardless of a win or loss. “This team had a never-say-die attitude about it,” said Hoffman. “They never believed they were out of a game, until the final out was recorded.” Even in games ending in a loss, the team found ways to get on base and give their teammates a chance to deliver.
The victories against The Kiski School will provide long-lasting memories for this team, both earned in hard-fought games that changed hands more than once. Another exciting game against Streetsboro High School ended in a walk-off win. “The Streetsboro win was a case where everything fell into place ... A great win!” said Hoffman.
Hoffman is looking forward to building upon this team’s success. “We have a great, rising senior class, with lots of experience,” he said. “I hope they see the possibilities next year holds. It could be a special season.”