Archive | Alumni/Player News

Zack Horwitz – Alumni Focus

Ruffnecks alums are not defined solely for their baseball prowess.  But make no mistake… it takes considerable skill, focus, dedication, and perseverance to play baseball at the collegiate level, whether it is Division I, II, or III.  There is no greater example of the quintessential Ruffnecks Alum than Zack Horwitz.  Zack is an excellent student.  He has acted in numerous stage performances and continues to participate in leadership activities beyond the ball field at Amherst College.  Zack was a five year Ruffneck who became a Johnny Pesky Teammate Award winner in his very first year.  His call “Way to be a Ruffneck!” provided the character and backbone for his teammates as a 13 year old.  Unafraid to get hit by a pitch, Zack was a keen competitor,  and that rallying cry became the inspiration for everyone on the team to dig in, take pitches off the shoulder, back, leg, or butt, and run to first base!  Zack’s charisma is contagious and continues at Amherst College where he is currently a junior on the baseball team.

Amherst College is a perennial contender in the Division III baseball world.  It is also one of the most competitive schools with regard to admission standards.  Horwitz is a LHP who also plays good defense and was an excellent hitter in high school.  His academic and leadership profile attracted the attention of several IVY League programs as well as most of the high academic NESCAC programs.  In the end, Zack chose to focus on Amherst with the intent to become a contributor on the field from freshmen year.  Now a junior, Horwitz leads Amherst in total appearances.  He is their go-to guy with several starts and relief appearances.  Always affable, incredibly focused, and loyal, Zack Horwitz is a great example for Ruffnecks players and families.

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Alumni Focus – Joe Simourian – Navy

Simourian, 3rd from left with teammates in '17

We should have instituted a regular “Alumni Focus” blog long ago.  After 16 years of Ruffnecks baseball there are plenty of distinguished alums.  Many are currently in college and professional baseball.  Others are out in the work force, having completed college careers, some with stints in pro ball.  These alums are leading productive lives in a variety of professional endeavors.  During the college season, we will attempt to provide a featured alum once a week.  Once we get into our summer schedule, it may be less often.  Although we have featured stories about Ruffnecks alums in the past, our intent in providing a regular story is to encourage our current players, parents, and friends to read about some of the players we have shared time with in the program.  With no false humility, the Ruffnecks do not take credit for their success.  Each player benefited from the influence of many in their journey.  And each succeeded by virtue of his own resolve, dedication, goal setting, and resilience.

Joseph Simourian – NAVY ‘22

Joe Simourian at Navy

It seems appropriate to recognize a recent Ruffnecks grad who chose to attend the United States Naval Academy for his college career.  Such a commitment is never an easy consideration.  It involves an understanding that a five year military obligation follows the player’s college baseball career.  That is a long time to an 18 year old looking into the future.  It takes considerable resolve and self awareness.  Joe Simourian was a 5 year Ruffneck, beginning his career, like most, in the 13U program.  His older brother, John, was also a Ruffneck (currently playing at Georgetown).  Joe was a three sport athlete at Phillips Academy (Andover).  He also lettered in football and hockey.  As a freshman at Navy, Joe is currently hitting .328 and earning his time in the lineup.  Life as a new Midshipman is not easy, and Joe balances the demands of military training, classroom work, and being a Division I athlete.  Joe is a Johnny Pesky Teammate Award winner (as was his brother). It is the only personal award or recognition the Ruffnecks program confers on players.  Joe is a keen competitor and a devoted teammate and family person.  It is no surprise that he chose to attend Navy.  As such, it is no surprise that we should acknowledge Joe in our first, regular, Alumni Focus.

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