Following an all-state selection this spring, college baseball was the natural next step for Bacon Academy High School’s departing do-it-all team captain Jack Novak.
“I am excited to announce my commitment to Mitchell College to further my academic and athletic career,” Novak posted on Instagram. “I would like to thank all of my coaches, family and teammates for their support and guidance.”
After starring on the fields in Colchester, Novak will head to the southern coast of Connecticut to play for the Mariners of Mitchell College, based in New London.
Novak is coming off a phenomenal spring from both the plate and the mound, leading the Bobcats in both areas. He had a team-high 34 hits and 34 RBIs — including seven home runs — and tied for a team lead with 24 runs scored. He also won eight of his ten starts from the hill, pitching five complete games, striking out 72 and allowing only 55 hits.
The Bobcats won 17 of 20 regular season games, highlighted by 10 straight wins to start spring. During the 10-game streak, Novak smacked two home runs in a game against Morgan, connecting on three hits to drive in three runs and score three others. He also earned the win, striking out 10 in six innings of work.
Novak called his performance against Morgan his best yet, adding, “It made me feel like all that extra work I put in the off-seasons and all the weekends I skipped hanging with my friends had paid off.”
Along with those special moments on the field, he said he will also miss the support he’s received from his hometown. He recalled going through a hitting slump this spring, but was able to break it thanks to the trust from his coaches and teammates.
“It was great to have all that support we have here,” Novak said of the Colchester community. “My friends and teammates were always there to help me and it was one of the greatest things to get out of my head mentally and start enjoying the game.”
Baseball beyond high school was something that Novak knew he wanted from an early age.
His athletic path to college started in tee-ball at the age of six and soon followed in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather, who both played baseball. It’s a sport that has consumed him from the moment he first put on a glove.
“I try and always live my life around it. It’s a sport that I never get tired of,” said Novak, an avid Red Sox fan.
As a sophomore in high school, Novak skipped “fall ball” and instead focused on getting stronger with an increased weight training regime. Then his spring season that year was canceled because of COVID-19, but he used that time to his advantage.
“As soon as I found out my spring season was canceled I was devastated because after my freshman year we had a good team coming back and I was really looking forward to playing with them again,” recalled Novak. “I kept hitting the weight room and finding ways I could continue baseball. I did anything I could do and it really paid off my junior year.”
Over the last two years, he was a regular starter and played at multiple positions around the field. That versatility will serve him well at his next stop where he will enter college as a two-way player for the Mariners of Mitchell College.
The Mariners have become a Division III powerhouse, making the NCAA tournament six times and winning an equal number of New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) titles during 10 full seasons under head coach Travis Beausoleil.
Prior to committing, Novak showcased his skills for several schools before meeting Beausoleil and realizing that Mitchell was the place to be.
“I love the way he coaches and the approach he takes,” Novak said of Beausoleil. “Overall I knew I could fit right in and that we could end up winning a lot of games.”
Novak, who will study health sciences, said he can’t wait to experience all that college has to offer and is willing to fill whatever role his coaches at Mitchell ask of him, adding, “I’m super excited to get on my new team and meet new people that will be in my life for a long time.”
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin