Coach sees challenge of keeping clubhouse focused on remaining games
Nearly halfway through the 2016-17 season, men’s baseball at George Brown can only go up. With 12 games remaining, the Huskies have an 0-8 record and -103 run differential.
Each game has its own story, and often positives are masked by the final score. Take game one of the Sept. 28 doubleheader against the Durham Lords. Powered by a strong effort from pitcher Emilio Paglia, George Brown led Durham 2-0 after four innings, and trailed 3-2 heading into the sixth.
The end result? A 13-2 loss.
Sometimes the final score can effectively summarize a game, such as Durham’s subsequent 18-0, five-inning win over George Brown in game two of the doubleheader. And moments haven’t kept the Huskies from being dead last in the standings.
Athletes aren’t simply numbers on a box score, and face the challenge of avoiding a mental rut. Huskies outfielder/pitcher Andrew Murrell’s counter to this is positive interaction.
“Just interacting with a lot of guys, making sure that everyone knows what the team focus is, keeping a jovial attitude in the clubhouse, making sure no one’s hanging their head,” said Murrell.
Huskies head coach Mark Cotgrave acknowledges clubhouse atmosphere as the biggest challenge right now. He still believes in having a realistic vision and straight shooter approach.
“I don’t really believe in spouting off ‘great game’ when everybody knows it wasn’t a great game,” Cotgrave said. “We stay honest, we look for goals that we can set that would give us reason to want to come back. You look at schedules, standings and the opposition and think, ‘Yeah, we can compete with that team or the other.’ That keeps us hoping for more.”
A picture of experience, Lords head coach Sam Dempster has been with the men’s baseball program at Durham College since its beginning in 1992. He commends the Huskies for doing their best, and has some words of advice.
“I hope George Brown doesn’t get discouraged, and they keep plugging away,” said Dempster. “Sometimes good things happen when you just stick with it.”