With a memorable and historical season for the Gloucester baseball team in the books, the only thing left to do is debate where this team stands amongst the best baseball teams in Gloucester High School history. There's just one problem with that; there is no debate as to where this year's Fishermen stand.
The accomplishments of the 2009 team far and away outnumber the accomplishments of any other team in school history. For starters, the team shattered the all-time school wins record with 20, four more than the 1998 team who had 16 wins to their credit. They made the longest state tournament run in school history making it to the state semifinals as Division 1 North champions. The Fishermen were also Northeastern Conference Small Champions, their first conference title since 1998.
"When I picked the team in March I was actually a little nervous picking 10 seniors," Gloucester head coach Joe Orlando said. "There were some expectations this season and I thought to myself, "This team is either going to be the biggest flop or they are going to have an incredible season." And to the kids credit they got the job done."
So exactly how did the team from a city that's not exactly known as a baseball hot bed and from a program that's not rich in tradition make their way through the daunting Division 1 North state tournament? Fishermen senior centerfielder Ross Carlson summed it up best.
"If you fight hard and play at 110% every game," Carlson said. "It doesn't matter what the odds are, you can get it done."
Carlson's words epitomize the Fishermen's play this season, as Gloucester often outworked teams to get their wins.
In their state tournament run, the Fishermen were pitted against a talented team from the powerful Merrimack Valley Conference in Lawrence, the No. 1 seed with 20 wins on their record in Lincoln-Sudburry, and a perennial powerhouse from a school that has the pick of the litter when it comes to baseball talent (St. John's Prep).