The Post-Journal

Frewsburg’s Schmitt Hits Baseball Trifecta

Named Coach Of Year For Third Time In Six Years

For a number of reasons, the Frewsburg Bears didn’t figure to stand a chance at repeating as New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D champions this spring.

After all, they lost their third, fourth, fifth and sixth-place hitters and three pitchers who helped the Bears to a 24-5 mark a year ago.

Throw in the fact their regular season schedule is among the more challenging around, and it figured to be a pretty good accomplishment just to win their league.

But after finishing 11-3 in Division 2 and earning the No. 1 seed in the Section 6 playoffs, Frewsburg successfully knocked off Maple Grove, Cattaraugus and Ripley to win the sectional title for the fourth time in six years, downed Lansing in the Far West Regional and then edged Rensselaer and Pawling in the state tournament.

Simply put, the Bears won every game they had to win.

Credit for that goes to their coach, Bob Schmitt.

Thanks to meticulous use of his pitching staff – senior Ken Powell and junior Mike Sheesley were the only experienced hurlers on the squad – Schmitt always had his team in position to win. And thanks, too, to a strong rapport with his squad, the players wanted to win for him. While some teams succeed in spite of their coach, the Bears won because of their coach.

“He’s able to push the right buttons and push you in the right direction, and then it’s your incentive from there,” junior Adam Beckerink said.

Clearly, the Bears had plenty of that this spring.

In finishing the season 20-5, they raised their two-year record to 44-10, while pushing Schmitt’s career mark to 112-41. In the post-season, his record is a gaudy 21-2.

“He knows the game really well, he knows what to say and when to say it,” Beckerink said. “He really knows how to coach a team.”

Consequently, the Bears won their third state title in six years. And for the third time in six year, Schmitt is the clear choice as The Post-Journal’s Baseball Coach of the Year.

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