After seeing 13 of 18 players graduate from his program last year, American Legion Post 150 coach Tim Southall knew he had his work cut out for him.
“I think this is going to be one of our more challenging years, just because of the turnover,” Southall said of his 14th season. “It’s a whole new year, a whole new challenge from the last four or five years. But we’re still heavy favorites in District 8. The other teams in the league kind of have it in for us. We get everybody’s best, every time out, that’s for sure.”
last year’s team was laden with former Newburyport state champions like Ryan O’Connor and Jimmy Conway, as well as Triton and Amesbury alumni including Blaise Whitman, J.C. Collette, Tim Cashman. Add in Georgetown Division 4 state champion Ryan Browner and Amherst College’s Charles Nutter, who took a no-hitter into the eighth inning during a tournament game two years ago, and it’s no wonder last year’s Nor’Easters racked up a 24-5 record. The 2012 squad was also named District 8 champions and became North Sectional champs, eventually bowing out to New Bedford in the state semifinals.
“Twelve of those 13 actually played college ball this year,” Southall said. “It’s hard to take, but it’s great to see all those guys move on and play at another level.”
This year’s Nor’Easters still have the pick of the litter when it comes to local high school and first-year college players and will not disappoint when it comes to star power. Pentucket’s Corey McNamara will be on the mound after a year at St. Joseph’s College.
“He had a good year up there pitching for them,” Southall said. “So we expect big things from him this year.”