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Friends, family honor retiring Johnsburg Coach Tim Leach

Minerva-Newcomb varsity baseball coach Ed LaCourse, right, hands Johnsburg varsity baseball coach Tim Leach a gift during their last game against each other at Johnsburg. The Mountaineers won 9-0.

Minerva-Newcomb varsity baseball coach Ed LaCourse, right, hands Johnsburg varsity baseball coach Tim Leach a gift during their last game against each other at Johnsburg. The Mountaineers won 9-0. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— For three decades, Leach has been the coach of the baseball, soccer and nordic ski teams at Johnsburg. He also spent some years coaching both alpine and nordic skiing in the winter.

Johnsburg Central Superintendent Mike Markwica was there to honor Coach Leach and said his allegiance remains with the Jaguars when the baseball team squares off against the Westport Eagles and their head coach Don Markwica, Mike’s brother.

“I know my brother, who is an amazing fan of baseball, definitely found his match with Tim,” Mike Markwica said. “He loves playing against Tim. He will refer to it as like a chess game.”

Friendly rivalry

Minerva-Newcomb varsity baseball head coach Ed LaCourse gave a brief speech to the crowd before handing Coach Leach a wicker wreath decorated with baseballs that were signed by members of his team.

“Thirty-four years ago, I was on that mound pitching in the section finals against none other than Tim Leach’s Indian Lake baseball team which Newcomb won five to nothing,” LaCourse said. “That was a great part of my life, and I am proud to say that Tim Leach is a great part of my life and is someone I consider a great friend and someone I’ve learned to admire. Second only to myself, his baseball knowledge is just incredible.”

When setting up the schedule for the baseball season, Leach emailed LaCourse to ask him if he’d like to have the Mountaineers play the Jaguars for the last game of his career.

“I tell you what, that just about brought tears to my eyes,” LaCourse said. “And it is an honor to play before you in what we call Tim’s last game here at Johnsburg Central School.”

The Mountaineers won 9-0 in five innings.

The May 21 game was designed to be the last home game of Coach Leach’s career; however, the May 16 game against Wells was rained out and was expected to be played on May 23.

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