Today’s podcast guest has managed to establish a feeder system to Division 1 college baseball at a public school in Massachusetts.
Milton High (Mass.) head coach Brendan Morrissey joined the New England Baseball Journal Podcast to share how he built a program that currently has 10 players on track to play college baseball. The co-founder of the Matt Duffy Baseball Academy took over as the Milton High coach four years ago. His 2022 roster includes players who are committed to schools like Northeastern, UMass Lowell, Wheaton College and Salve Regina.
“First, they have to have the talent to be able to be placed there,” Morrissey said. “They are talented kids. They do have a very tight knit group, and they didn’t want to go elsewhere. We came in to try to show them what we were about. We cared about them. They bought into it.
“It was a challenge with COVID, right? A lot of kids missed a year or so. Transferring to private school or reclassifying was a popular decision throughout high school baseball. But these guys really did buy into what we were doing and made a little pact together, like, ‘Hey, let’s do this in our hometown, boys.’ So, it’s been a pleasure coaching them. And it really starts with them. They have the talent, and they’re good kids. The part that everyone forgets that help is good grades.”
A Milton High alumnus, Morrissey and his staff have been able to keep his top players — like Northeastern commit Chuck Walker and UMass Lowell commits Brian Foley and Owen McHugh — from leaving MIAA baseball in favor of the local prep school scene.
“They love playing together,” Morrissey said. “We have a great staff of Miltonites, and it’s not about me at all. These guys who volunteer their time … we have four other guys on staff … they do a great job. So, there’s that type of bond that we’re able to develop with the players. We lived their life in the same shoes, same neighborhood, and they’re playing at the same school we went to. We do have a really positive culture that comes from their work ethic. It’s all guys that kind of lived their life, right? So, they can relate to us, we can relate to them. And they found a place to be successful. There’s no reason they can’t get to any level of baseball through a public school system.”
Morrissey appears to have instilled the same belief in his players — that no door is closed to college baseball just because they attend a public school. In fact, as more players get recruited at Milton High, it opens doors for younger players.
“It’s something I try to point out to every coach we talk to,” Morrissey said. “Charlie Walker gets an offer from Northeastern. Brian Foley does the same thing at UMass Lowell. Then each of those coaches says, ‘Who else do you have?’ Then we go on to the next kid and change the focus to who’s coming next. We were able to do that with Owen McHugh, and now he has a scholarship to go to UMass Lowell. He’s the next kid. A lot of other guys are going to do the same thing because coaches want to know who the next guy is. We’re happy to tell them.”
Listen to the entire podcast with Morrissey.
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