Junior Legion Baseball Returns After 20-Year Hiatus

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The last time Severna Park American Legion Post 175 fielded a junior baseball team was in 2001. It was coached by Dave Ferris, the head coach of the Severna Park High School junior varsity baseball team, a role he’s held for 22 years. After playing many summer seasons in an Anne Arundel County league, Ferris opted to field a team for the American Legion in 2021. His 18-player American Legion roster included 17 players from the Severna Park High School junior varsity team, plus one player from St. Mary’s High School.

Coming off an undefeated high school season, the Ferris-led team easily rolled into summer baseball and earned a regular season record of 10-5 in league play to secure a spot in the American Legion state playoffs. The team won their playoff opener 8-7 over Severn/Old Mill Post 276 on August 6. Two days later, their season came to an end as they lost 11-4 to St. Mary's  Post 255. They finished the season as state runner-up.

The high school junior varsity baseball season was just 12 games long this year in Anne Arundel County due to COVID-shortened sports seasons. With a large high school roster equally split between freshmen and sophomores, Ferris said summer baseball was especially important this year for him to further evaluate players and give the players more time to develop by playing against talented teams from around the state.

“Trying to give a roster of 23 or 24 players ample playing time over just 12 games is pretty tough,” said Ferris, referring to his Severna Park High School season. “Playing 30 games over a rather compact summertime period gives me the opportunity to get kids more at-bats and to see them play in positions that maybe they had never played before.”

Ferris said he liked the player progression he saw, especially from the rising sophomores who didn’t get much playing time as freshmen.

“Summer baseball is all about versatility. I liked what I saw and even found a couple pitchers,” said Ferris. “What I saw this summer will be valuable next year in high school.”

The team had a regular season record of 18-10, including competitive games against non-league Key School, Southern High School and out-of-conference American Legion Post 259 from Clinton, Maryland. They played in two tournaments including a wild weekend in Salisbury, Maryland, when they went 5-1 after playing two Saturday games and four Sunday games en route to a loss in the finals of Fruitland Baseball’s End of July Bash.

In addition to Ferris, the American Legion Post 175 junior team was coached by Joe Zimmerman (head coach of Archbishop Spalding’s junior varsity baseball team), and Patrick Hornick, a former player for Ferris and member of the Severna Park High School state championship team in 2009.

Players included Brendan Abell, Luke Behe, Michael Carparelli, Liam Cleary, Nick DiNunzio, Matthew Dove, Matthew Fleisher, Brooks Harris, Donald Horgan, Zachary Lundfelt, Daniel Lynn, Teagan McDonough, Andrew Metcalfe, Jackson O’Brien, Kody Phillips, Chase Raino, Joseph Tomar, and Brendan Vaught.

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