Colton Venner, who worked with Westport coach Chris Markwica when Keene and Westport were a merged team on his pitching, threw a complete game against his former coach as the Beavers scored their first win of the season against the Eagles April 25.
Photo by Keith Lobdell.
Keene Valley In 2010 and 2011, Beagle-ball was the buzzword in Section VII/Class D baseball.
The team, comprised of student athletes from Keene and Westport, earned a pair of trips to the sectional championship game before not joining together as a merged team in 2012.
This year, players from Keene and Westport came together again — not as teammates, but to renew acquaintances as foes on the diamond.
The April 25 game between the former allies was also the first win for the Beavers, who defeated the Eagles 11-7 for their first victory wearing the home orange-and-black since a drop in numbers made them merge teams with Westport three years ago.
“I am sure that they knew a little about the history between these teams,” Keene head coach and Athletic Director Fred Hooper said. “I didn’t want to put that added pressure on them saying that we needed to go out and play hard against a team we used to be a part of, our goal is to just get better every day because we do not have any kids who have played on a varsity team.”
Hooper said that the way the team was brought together this season is a testament to the overall philosophy of the school they attend.
“We have a couple kids who came out to play just so we could have a team,” Hooper said. “This team really embodies the true spirit of Keene Central School. You have guys who are really excited and want to get out there and play and they all came together as a group and said they wanted to play and bring baseball back to Keene.”
Through the early part of the season, the team has been able to focus on improving its fundamental skills as well as a team concept of the sport.