To understand what this season meant for Mohonasen, you must understand what it is like to be from Mohonasen. It is never easy to be an athlete there between the teachers, staff, or even your peers telling you everyday how bad you team is, regardless of your sport. You have to live with knowing that the schools athletic background is not that of Shen or Burnt Hills and in harsh reality, comes nowhere close to theirs. This type of thing did not sit well with myself when I was co-captain of Mohonasens football team because I cared deeply about our teams and I wanted to take all that bad history and change it. Each one of these seventeen players had similar mindsets and set a goal to show everyone how wrong they were about Mohonasen. And although their ultimate goal was not achieved, that does not mean they can’t forever look back and consider this season one of the most succesful for any sports team at Mohonasen ever.
The story goes as such, the group of players that make up Mohonasen are certified champions. The core of the group has played together since they were 8 and did not stop winning Little League titles. They did as well as coming in 3rd in the state when they were 10. When Babe Ruth hit they finally got over the hump at age 14 and defeated the three-headed monster Colonie (Only those close to the team understand the significance of this) and reached the Mid-Atlantic regional where they’d lose in the semi-final to the eventual champions. Now, this varsity season. They all won the sectional title so many of them dreamed of since playing at Leonard C. White park, home of Carman (now RC) little league.
The game moved very quickly yesterday as it took an hour for the game to get through 5 innings with the teams tied at one a piece. Lanaro was cruising as he threw a first pitch strike to seventeen of nineteen batters he faced through 5 innings (via James Allen twitter). The wheels came off for Mohonasen in the 6th. Errors and hits getting pieced together by Whitesboro opened the gap to 6-to-1 entering the bottom of the 6th. Mohonasen would battle back and make it 6-to-4 with RBI’s from Ryan Deguire, Eric Starr, and Matt Ryan by way of a hit by pitch. After setting the side down in the top of the 7th, Brandon Kruzinski would double and later score on Dylan Pusz’s RBI single with 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th. But the comeback was denied as Whitesboro recorded the final out and advanced to the regional.
Down by five runs on the brink of elimination the Warriors never gave up. Ryan Deguire told me, “I think (the fight) showed what kind of team and kids we are. I think it was the fact we did not want it to be over.” Adding, “We had our backs to the wall and we gave it everything we had and tried to come back, we just ran out of time. If there was another inning we win that game, but that’s baseball.”
Many people or players will look at this game and think of themselves going out as losers, which this shouldnt be the case. This is a team full of champions who fought through the bad-mouthing of people when they were talked up. For years, they and I would tell people they were going to compete for a state title some day, and that they did. Sure, they didn’t make it out of the first round, but being down by five and being six outs away from elimination will send most teams into the “let’s get this over with” mentality. And as Deguire said, they did not want this to end and for good reason. Just look though the players social medias to see how heartbreaking this loss was to them. I will forever say that this is the greatest group of ball players Rotterdam (and Mohonasen) has seen since my fathers team went to Williamsport and won thew Babe Ruth world series a few years later. It is between them sticking together, achieving so much, and playing baseball well and right that puts them in that category. And in the era of “super teams”, to stick together like such and win so much speaks for itself. There should be no long faces from any one of Mohonasens seventeen players as they have made Rotterdam, and little old Mohonasen, very proud.