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College Season Underway – Alums Populate Rosters

Galland, Holzwasser, Walsh at Red Sox Feb. 22

As those who follow know, the official start to the Division I college baseball season began this past weekend.  And two of the top local/regional D-I schools, Boston College and Northeastern University came away with 2-1 road records to start the 2018 campaign.  Ten former Ruffnecks populate the rosters of these two schools alone.  Add not-so-local University of Connecticut to the 2-1 club, and you have a pretty good weekend for New England.   And yes, the Ruffnecks are represented at UConn as well.  Other New England Division I colleges begin their seasons a little later than President’s Day Weekend, but college baseball is under way!  Division II schools, such as Bentley University, have also begun their seasons with trips down south.  Numerous Division III colleges begin in March with their own spring trips, and games scheduled at the NEBC, where the Ruffnecks make their home.  Indeed, almost 50 former Ruffnecks are currently playing on collegiate baseball rosters throughout the country… many of them right in New England.

Matt Wesoloski - UTampa

It is not possible to name all the contributors to their respective college programs.  But there are standout performances on a weekly basis that contribute to their college team’s success.  Freshman Chris Galland got his first college hit for Boston College against Santa Clara. For now, he enjoys a 1.000 batting average, a feat that can only happen, by definition, with success on one’s first chance!  Sophomore Scott Holzwasser leads Northeastern University’s lineup after a monster weekend in which he had 7 hits including a double, HR, and 5 RBI.  Another long-time Ruffneck, Matt Wesoloski, pitches for the University of Tampa.  He threw a 1-2-3 inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in spring training exhibition on Feb. 22.  Galland, Holzwasser, Joe Walsh, Henry Ennen, and Owen Batchleder all played against the Boston Red Sox the same day.  Other former Ruffnecks populate the rosters of schools such as Wake Forest, Georgetown, University of Richmond, and IVY League schools such as Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Columbia.  The list of strong academic Division III schools includes Amherst, Bates, Colby, Trinity, Tufts, and several others.  The point is… there is a place in college for most Ruffnecks to play, as long as the passion, purpose, and academic focus remain bound together in the player’s heart and soul.

We begin our own season with the 13U and 14U Ruffnecks in late March.  High school players are gettng ready for school seasons and then the summer with Ruffnecks.  Those journeys are still at various distances from the college game.  And while it is satisfying to acknowledge the achievements of former ‘Necks in the college ranks, it is important to remember that they were once in the very same place as Ruffnecks players are today.

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2018 Preparation Begins! Winter Workouts

Long view of Harvard "Bubble"

On a Sunday morning in January (Jan. 21st to be precise), when most sports fans in New England focused their attention on the AFC Championship between the Patriots and the Jaguars, another New England program began preparation for the 2018 baseball season.  More than 75 Ruffnecks awoke well before dawn, some traveling as far as 100 miles.  The destination… “the Bubble” at Harvard University where Ruffnecks spring training officially begins.  Promptly at 6:00am warm-ups began.  The two hour workout incorporated two full infield diamonds, an outfield station, a pitcher’s station for flat ground and balance work, and a base running station.  20 Coaches served the 75+ players in a crisp, repetitions-based workout.

One of the features of these early workouts, is the program-wide orientation for drill work and training.  The Ruffnecks only field one team at each of five age classifications (13U thru 17U), with players in the class of 2019 considered “seniors” in the program.  The first winter workout brings the youngest Ruffnecks together with more experienced players.  Virtually all the drill stations mix players from the various rosters, ages, and graduation classes.  Still, the tempo and the structure of the drills are geared up to a level appropriate for January and the most experienced of Ruffnecks players.  “There is a programmatic mentoring that takes place during these workouts,” says one Ruffnecks coach.  “The older players do a great job of showing leadership for the younger players.  And the younger players do a terrific job keeping up and learning from the speed and expectations of the drill work.”  Most importantly, the Ruffnecks Winter Workouts at Harvard are a privilege for players who want to kick off the cobwebs and get into some baseball routines with dedicated coaches.  With under a 4 to 1 Player to Coach ratio, there is plenty of instruction and attention to details… without slowing down the pace of the workouts.  Two hours evaporates quickly…  but the preparation for 2018 is under way… with plenty of time to get home and watch another New England team that sets the bar for preparation.

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Important Notices

(Updated Sunday, May 20 at 7:00pm)

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS:
None

Monday, May 21
13U/14U Combined Roster
at St. Mark's JV
3:30 Report
4:30 Game

Thursday, May 24
13U & 14U Ruffnecks
Practice at NEBC
6:00 - 6:30 Report
6:30 - 8:15 Practice

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