On March 12, Milford High School baseball coach Nick Brannan discussed the upcoming season. While there was a bit of trepidation in his tone, Brannan was optimistic that Milford would be able to put together a solid season, if there was one. With May rapidly approaching, it is becoming apparent that there will be no spring sports this year. While taking a look at the bigger picture in what is happening these days, he recognized some athletes that have missed out on their senior season.
By Nick Brannan
Nathan Button dislocated his kneecap during the tail end of his junior season and worked hard to return to form. Nathan entered this season faster than before his injury and was showing off some pop in his bat, tripling in our first scrimmage this year against Wilmington Charter. “We were very interested to see where this hot start was going to lead him.
Josh Ennis is a superb teammate. Someone each of us could count on to do whatever was necessary. Josh played multiple positions for us and unfortunately discovered food three years too late because he added close to 20 pounds from last season. Josh had added velocity and was driving the ball unlike any other point in his career. We were interested to see where his “new body” would take him. Josh is also an excellent bowler, my son and I once watched him bowl 11 strikes in a row in a tournament. Truly one of the more impressive things I’ve witnessed in person.
Trey Hudson’s maturation as an athlete and a student have been very fulfilling to observe. Trey had been plagued by some nagging injuries early on, but worked through those to be a very dependable part of our program. Trey has truly worked hard in the classroom making it a priority. Trey’s maturation is the kind of growth every teacher/coach can hope for in their players.
Ashton Jerman worked as hard as I’ve seen any player prepare for a season over the winter. Ashton experienced a setback the winter of his junior season with an arm injury, but was not going to be denied this Spring. By a cruel twist of fate, Ashton suffered a knee injury, dislocating his kneecap during practice prior to our first scrimmage. Perseverance would have Ashton’s face next to it in the dictionary as he never has let any setback derail his goals. I’m extremely proud of him and will watch eagerly to see the man he will become.
Chad Reichhold is one player who will be continuing his baseball career at the University of Delaware. Chad Reichhold has had a very successful career as a Milford Buccaneer; he started a playoff game as a freshman, been named all-conference, and been on three Carpenter Cup teams. I’d like to offer one of my favorite stories involving Chad. Last year, we were playing in the semifinals of the Carpenter Cup at Citizen’s Bank Ballpark and Chad came in from the bullpen to pitch in the middle innings. It was a hot day and the jog from the bullpen is further than what we’re used to, so I sent a cup of water out to the mound and set it on the grass for him to replenish the fluids it took to run from the bullpen to the mound. Chad was a good sport and took the drink, and I took the heat from the Phillies for having anything other than ballplayers on their playing surface.”
Evan Strickland came to us late and I think the best compliment I could offer him would be that I wish he would have spent all four years with us. Evan blended right in with our group and was always near the front with conditioning and was truly someone I looked forward to getting to know better. It’s not easy coming into a new program for your last year, but Evan embraced the challenge and competed each day.
Each of these seniors will carve their impression out in the coming years, but their impact on myself and our coaching staff is already been forged and will not be easily forgotten. If in fact we do not return to school and these seniors do not get that opportunity to play as a Buccaneer for the final time, they will be remembered fondly. Every underclassman needs to recognize that there are no guarantees and that next season they should take advantage of each opportunity and play hard to honor the seniors who would have loved to had the chance that they do.