St. John Vianney baseball team enters BlueClaws Ring of Honor
| Posted on TrentonMonitor.com August 10, 2015 |
By David Karas, TrentonMonitor.com Correspondent |
When the St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel, Lancers baseball team beat the odds and clinched a state championship title in 2014, the players – many of them seniors who had walked in their graduation ceremony earlier that day – rushed onto the field to celebrate.
And even a year later, the members of that milestone team continue to receive opportunities to keep celebrating.
The cohort became the first team to be inducted into the BlueClaws Ring of Honor, a special initiative of the Philadelphia Phillies’ South Atlantic League affiliate team that honors athletes and programs of the Shore Conference.
“We were the first team to go in,” said baseball coach Mike Morgan, who said he and the team received a wealth of honors and recognitions stemming from the 2014 Non-Public A State Championship title. Among other recognitions, Morgan was named Shore Conference Coach of the Season after the win.
While a title win might be exciting enough, the victory took on special significance for the Lancers: it was the program’s first state baseball crown since 1981.
In the June 7, 2014 championship game at Toms River South High School, the Lancers took a 3-1 win over St. Joseph Regional High School, Montvale.
“(The year) 1981 was the first time we won a state title in baseball,” Morgan said, noting that the team’s rankings skyrocketed after the memorable game.
“We went from not being ranked in the state to being No. 1,” he said. The team was also ranked second in the tri-state area, and 25th nationwide.
The latest recognition led to a special pregame honor in early July, on the field of First Energy Park, Lakewood, during which the team and coaching staff were recognized.
Morgan said the administration of St. John Vianney High School decided to nominate the team after its landmark victory.
“I think it is a great honor,” said Morgan, who added that the team has done a lot with the BlueClaws and in First Energy Park in the past – including hosting tournaments.
“I think it is a great honor for our kids,” he said. “It is just a great honor for everybody, especially at the shore, and for our school.”