– Allison Goldsberry
The Medford Legion Post 45 baseball team’s season came to an end with a tough 4-3 loss to Newton in the Chairman’s Cup finals on Thursday.
“While it was a tough ending, I couldn’t have asked for a better season with a terrific group of kids,” said Coach Ryan Kozul. “We’ve prided ourselves on building a classy program over the last four years, and all these guys have been great ambassadors for our team. It’s a tough thing to stay committed during the summer with all the distractions and the grueling schedule we play. This group was the most committed I’ve ever had, and I’m really grateful for that.”
The Medford roster was full of talented players from many places, including Medford High School, Arlington Catholic, and Malden Catholic, among others.
According to Coach Kozul, two players will be moving on to play for two of the best programs in New England in the fall. Ryan Covelle will be joining his brother Paul at D2 powerhouse Franklin Pierce, while Dave Center will be playing at D3 College World Series participant Southern Maine. Both Dave and Ryan were three year players for the Legion team.
The Legion team is also saying good-bye to several other key players.
“[Kevin Andrew] has been a great leader for us. He will definitely be missed next year,” said Kozul. “I’d like to wish him well as he moves on, along with Justin Alley, Matt Marino, Conor McGovern, and Eric Spinale.”
Winchester duo Brendan Greene and Billy Christopher, among the biggest keys to the team’s success this year, are also moving on, said Coach Kozul.
“They are both great kids, who were committed to us from day one and played great baseball all summer. I know they’ll do great things next year.”
Christopher will pitch at Union College while Greene is doing a postgrad year at Bridgton Academy and playing hockey and baseball.
Despite the departure of top players, several younger players are poised to step up and lead the team. Medford High’s Dom Ramasci, Mike Egitto, and Mike Center and AC’s Kyle Boudrias, Justin DeMarco, and Christian Rosati all had great years and will return to the Legion team next season.
Coach Kozul said he would like to thank the parents and fans for their support.
“We truly appreciate it, and we hope we were able to put a team on the field that made everyone proud,” said Kozul.
Despite the season-ending loss to Newton, Kozul said he is proud of the progress the team has made over the years. Medford finished 13-9 this season and over the last four years has compiled a 46-38 record after the program went 2-38 from 2009-10 and had zero winning seasons from 2001-2012.
“We’ve been transformed over the last four years into a perennial playoff contender and that’s a credit to the dedication level of all the players who have come through the program during that time,” said Kozul. “I hope this is a program now that all the younger players in the city will strive to play for as they get older.”