Rocky Hill-Cromwell-Portland 19U American Legion baseball finished atop the Zone 3 standings with a regular season record of 16-3. Although the season didn’t end with a state championship, it was another successful season and the end of an era for six players who battled through the turmoil of the last 18 months.
Head coach Paul Francis, who just wrapped up his tenth season coaching with the RCP family, reflected on the team and the players who will be moving on, stating, “First, I want to thank the parents. I’ve gotten to know some of you over five years. Not only do you support us every day, you’ve trusted me with something I know is difficult. You’ve allowed me into you and your kids lives. Something I’ve never take for granted, and something I know isn’t easy. I couldn’t even state how much it’s meant to me to have the support I’ve had from each and every one of you, and one day I hope I can repay you.”
“As a hometown kid, every time I put the #14 on it means a little more to me. I know how special it is to be a part of this thing. This is more than winning baseball games. You get to connect with two other towns every summer and develop relationships that will last a lifetime. You get the opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime, with people that also last a lifetime.”
“To my six young men who will never be able to take the field in green and yellow ever again, just know how proud everyone is of you. And I hope you know how proud of you I am. I’ve gotten a front row seat to be able to watch you guys as 14/15-year-old kids, and watch you grow into amazing young men. Just know your work ethic and leadership will never go unnoticed. You took a torch that was on fire and ran with it.”
“I could care less about results on the field at the end of the day. Wins are fun, losses suck, we all know this. Bit I can’t speak enough about what you’ve meant to me. You endured a year that you lost high school baseball as seniors. You lost your prom. You lost graduation. You lost senior day and a chance to compete for conference and state titles. But all you did was respond when you could’ve easily pointed fingers and made a book of excuses. That’s not how you guys are built though.”
“As a former player, as a longtime coach, and as a fan, you’ve made me proud and then some. It’s more than about baseball around here. They call me coach but every year you guys were coaching me, helping me, showed me what to be appreciative for. I hope I was able to teach you something along the way. I hope I helped you realize the white lines are temporary but that friendships and memories last forever. That’s what we’re really playing for.
“Grant Collins, Nick Polizonis, Alex Inglis, Ryan Boyle, Ryan Robb, and Justin Fraleigh, thank you. Thank you for being you. That’s all I ever wanted, and that’s all I ever was given. Life’s in for a rude awakening because all you six will do is continue to beat it up. Great things happen to great people, you six have many great things coming your way.”
“Try to keep the FaceTimes before midnight, your ball coach is getting older these days.”
“It will always be nothing but love.”
“Roll with The Winners.”
RCP’s Golf Tournament is coming up on Friday, Sept 3 at Portland Golf Course. The cost is $110.00 per person, which includes 18 holes of golf, a cart, lunch, and social hour appetizers. Contact Kevin Francis (email@example.com) or Jay Hickey (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information or to sign up.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin