Wednesday, April 11, 2012

ITL's Maidment wins coaching debut.

Around the Horn

Matt Williams

New Hamilton-Wenham baseball coach Reggie Maidment doesn't have to look far to find a visual motivator for his players.

All he has to do is point to the outfield.

"Patton Park? It's picturesque. You have the tank out there and pond — not many guys get to play at a park like this, and you realize that and take advantage," said Maidment, whose Generals topped North Reading, 3-1, yesterday at Patton, to give him his first win in his first game as head coach.

The 28-year-old Maidment graduated from Hamilton-Wenham Regional in 2002 and was a multi-sport standout. He graduated from Springfield College, coached baseball at H-W under Doug Hoak the last two years and has been one of Andrew Morency's football assistants at the school, helping the team reach the playoffs in back-to-back years.

Coming home to coach the Generals is a blessing for Maidment, and he hopes the players will feed on his intensity and gratitude.

"It's kind of surreal. I'm really grateful to (athletic director) Don Doucette for the opportunity," said Maidment. "There's tradition and these kids will know I live and breathe being a General. It's an honor."

In Hoak, who is semi-retired and coached the Generals basketball team to its third straight Cape Ann League Division 2 title this past winter, Maidment had an excellent mentor. Hoak led the baseball team for nearly a quarter of a century and won the Division 3 state title in 1988.

"Coach Hoak set us up well. He's run a great program over the years and he's a great baseball guy," Maidment said. "I learned so much playing for him and for coach (Rich) Butterworth."

As an assistant coach the last two seasons, Maidment picked up even more wisdom from Hoak than he did as a player. "As a player you don't see how much these coaches care — and that's Doug Hoak through and through. You don't see all the extra hours they put in after practice or after games," he said.

"We'll still do the same drills. Coach Hoak was always big in the fundamentals and we want to keep that. We have to play sound defense."

The Generals have six seniors, including captains Ryan Foringer, Paul DiMarino and Jimmy Parr. Foringer turned in a quality start on the hill to win yesterday and leads the pitching staff.

Tom Conville, Jack Keegan and Luke Wendt are the other seniors while Hamilton-Wenham is looking for contributions from sophomores Pete Duval and Jack Clay and junior Brian Nicoll.

Parr is a three-year starter in center field and the Generals feel good about Duval behind the plate, providing crucial strength up the middle on defense. Beyond ace Forringer, Hamilton-Wenham is excited about the potential of Wendt, a lefty transfer from Masco coming off an outstanding football season.

"We had 37 at tryouts, which was the most since I've been here, and we have 15 freshman that will play on junior varsity," said Maidment. "Baseball is growing. The numbers in town are up and the number for the Babe Ruth teams are up."

Morency is helping out on the coaching staff while assistant Bruce Lucas has invaluable experience. Mike Drinkwater, who recently graduated from Endicott, will handle the junior varsity.

"We're excited about our youth, not worried about it. We have a great senior class and hope it's going to be an exciting year," said Maidment.