Marblehead's All Star 8 Year Olds Win State Baseball Championship
Last Wednesday, June 13, 2022 Marblehead’s All-Star Team won the Eastern Massachusetts State Championship. The team, composed of eight-year-old players, went undefeated throughout the districts and states levels, progressing all the way to the state championship game in which they went head to head with Chelmsford, eventually emerging victorious.
Every athletic team has a coach or coaching staff that is just as responsible for its success as the players. The All Stars were no exception. The team’s manager, Patrick O’Leary, along with his three coaches, James Cullen, Jesse Ainlay, and Eric Weisman, certainly played a significant role in the team’s outstanding season. With that said, the game is played and won on the field, and it is the players who, alone, must face their opponents. Below is the team’s complete roster–in batting order along with O’Leary’s comments.
The team’s victory at Chelmsford was their crowning achievement, a perfect end to a phenomenal season. The game started off rocky as Chelmsford scored four runs before Marblehead scored one. Marblehead found its tempo later into the game, however, and scored three runs in the fourth inning after hits by Demakes, Ainlay, Coyne, and Whitten. In the next inning, Marblehead played well and added two more runs to the scoresheet and another the next inning. In the sixth inning, Chelmsford managed to score one run, but it was too little too late. Marblehead rallied for the home stretch, and managed to come away with the victory after several outstanding catches from Wynn and Whitten. Demakes played a major role, striking out two batters in the sixth inning, completing the team’s impressive run with a six-to-five5 victory over Chelmsford.
O’Leary summed up his and his fellow coach’s philosophy by stating that they teach the athletes to be aggressive as well as to support one another, particularly when their peers are in a stressful position such as at bat or on the pitching mound. He said that they spoke often with their team about the fact that those positions can cause anxiety, and that it is important, in an effort to alleviate those nerves, for the children to be able to rely on one another and believe in themselves. The coaches encouraged the players to communicate, adding that, “when the boys are communicating with each other, both before and during play, that’s when they’re at their best,” and that small reassurance can “help them build confidence in each other and themselves.”
O’Leary gave credit for the team’s triumph primarily to the athletes, saying that “the team’s success came down to the commitment the boys made to each other and to learning the game. They practiced long hours in the hot sun and had a blast doing it.” It was “a magical ride,” O’Leary said.
Marblehead Beacon would like to congratulate the team on its success and wish each player and coach the very best.