By Kevin Eickman
It can be easy to forget how difficult it is when it comes to competing at the varsity level of high school sports. Last year was a stark reminder of just how tough it can be, with the Milford Buccaneers turning in a 6-12 record. It was their first losing record since the 2011 season. Not the level of achievement for a program that has taken pride in not only qualifying for the State tournament, but performing well when they get there.
Returning to the helm this season will be Sean ‘Gator’ Brennan. In his previous stint with the Buccaneers, Brennan piloted the Buccaneers to the State title game on the 2010 season. Falling to Caravel by a 6-2 score. The runner-up finish is the highest that the Bucs have finished since as they are hoping that Brennan can bring back the Milford spirit that the Buccaneers looked to be lacking last season.
When the job was open this year, Brennan was approached by a number of people, asking him if he would consider applying for the position. “When so many people ask you to do something, you have to seriously consider it,” Brennan said. “The more I listened to people, I really felt like this was going to be a good situation. There was a great deal of support from a lot of people for me to do this again.”
Looking at last season, it was evident that there was a lack of cohesiveness on the part of the Buccaneers. That is the first element the Brennan has set about to change. “The first thing you have to do is develop a family atmosphere. I think we have worked really hard as a team to develop that in the off season,” stated Brennan. “From an outside viewpoint, there seemed to be a lot of decent among the girls last year, so we’re really trying to make it a family atmosphere this year.”
Milford will not be devoid of talent this year, with a number of quality players returning this season, something that Brennan hopes will aid in the teams resurgence. “While we lost some really good players to graduation, we have a lot of players coming back that really know how to play,” Brennan stated. One of the returning players will be junior Megan Fry, who will be looked at to anchor the defense at short. Next to Fry will be fellow junior Nia Bowe, who will be handling the action at third base, while sophomore Darby Brennan will settle in at second base.
Arguably one of the best players in the State is junior Rajene Bowe, who will be returning to police the grounds of center field. “I honestly think Rajene is the best center fielder in the conference and we really count on her to do a lot,” Brennan stated. Junior Brianna Cahall will be contributing in the outfield as well, after battling injuries last season.
In the circle for the Buccaneers, senior Brea MacFarland and sophomore Morgan Abbott will be expected to contribute the lion’s share of the innings. “The leadership that Brea brings is real important, she is a real competitor in the circle,” Brennan stated. When talking about Abbott, Brennan thinks pitching as a freshman will be a real bonus for her this season. “Mo is really coming along well and I think the best is still to come for her.” Fans can also look for Fry to contribute when needed as well.
One aspect that can go overlooked is that of the entire coaching staff. Brennan believes that he has a real good team that will pay dividends down the road. Pitching coach Kevin Mark, Rick Andrews and Ronny Fry will help with hitting and infield and Robert Masten will chip in with the outfielders. “I am blessed with a really good staff, adding it all up we have over a hundred years of experience,” Brennan commented. “It has really allowed me just to manage as they can really take care of specific details we need to address.”
When speaking of goals, Brennan just wants one thing for the squad. “Lets just get one percent better every day, that’s what I want us to do,” said Brennan. “If we can do that, everything else will take care of itself.”
Milford will start the season this year hosting Caesar Rodney Tuesday at 4:15.