The latest episode of The Base Path Podcast offers a MIAA Tournament preview from the coach of one of the favorites in Division 1.
Boston College High coach Steve Healy joined host Dan Guttenplan to talk about the upcoming state tournament. The pod was particularly timing, as the MIAA released its tournament seeds and pairings yesterday.
The Eagles finished 15-5, earning the No. 5 seed in Division 1. It’s a strong first season for Healy, who took over for legendary coach Norm Walsh this season. Healy, who played for Walsh at BC High in the late 1970s and early 1980s, continued to impart lessons learned from Walsh during his playing days. But he also looked to put his own stamp on the program.
“Coach Walsh was very careful about using his pitchers as position guys,” Healy said. “I feel that the best players can also hit. So, we have more two-way guys or combo guys than in the past, and I’m going to promote that at each level. I don’t want to take the bat out of the kid’s hands in ninth grade just because he has a really good arm.”
Walsh tipped his cap to top-seed Franklin as the favorite in the D1 Tournament. The Panthers ended BC High’s season during the D1 semifinal in 2021.
“They’re really good; they’re well coached,” Healy said. “Zach (Brown) is terrific. When we played them in the semifinals last year, he started five freshmen and five sophomores. They were really young, and they walked off with a 2-1 win. It was an electric environment down in Franklin, so those kids are all back for him.”
This year’s MIAA tournament will be split into Division 1 through Division 5. Unlike the 2018 and 2019 seasons, there will be no Super 8 Tournament, which included the top eight teams in the state, regardless of division. Healy would be in favor of bringing back the Super 8 Tournament to determine the clear-cut state champion.
“I’d love it,” Healy said. “I love that tournament. I love the format. It was highly competitive. If you did run up against a (former North Andover ace) Sebastian Keane in the first round, you still could live. You still had a chance to compete and win more games. Whereas under the present format, if you run up against a Sebastian Keane or Mike Vasil, it’s like, ‘See you later, thanks for a great season, but this is your reward.’ So, I’m a big fan of the format. I know it’s under advisement and they’re looking at it. It’s going to be a couple of years before it’s on the table again. I’m hoping they bring it back.”
Listen to the entire podcast.
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