Seymour Sharks reflect on great time

In the summer of 2012, Jeremy Richey became the head baseball coach at Seymour High School and knew he was going to coach a lot of baseball in the coming years, but what he didn’t know was that his then 5-year old son Braden was about to start playing.

At the end of the 5-year old’s Pee Wee baseball season, Mike Wright called Richey, along with nine other families, and said he saw a lot of potential with this group and wanted to put together a travel team.

The Seymour Sharks were born out of those conversations seven years ago.

Wright coached the team through 6U and 7U, along with help from Richey, Jeff Nicholson, Mike Wineinger and myself. The team came together and played at a high level, winning many tournaments. For the 8U season, Wright’s son, Michael, had an opportunity to play with the Indiana Bulls organization and he handed the team over to me to lead.

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The team continued to have a lot of success and capped off the season with a runner-up finish in the USSSA Coach Pitch State Tournament.

In 2016, the Sharks started playing kid pitch full-time at the 9U level. Over the course of four years (9U-12U), they won 78 % of their games, with an overall record of 107-31.

Overall, the Sharks put together a 197-51-3 record over their six seasons. They started off as a community travel team, then moved to a AA team, and spent most of their final two seasons playing AAA and open level competition.

“My goal was not only to teach them baseball, but to teach them life skills,” Wright said. “Through hundreds of games, thousands of miles traveled and the thousands of hours spent together, we have forged lifelong friendships. Looking at the fine young men that they have become, we can say we have accomplished what we set out to do and we are very proud of each one of them.”

All 12 players on the team are currently seventh graders. Eight of the players attend Seymour Middle School, while the other four attend Immanuel Lutheran School.

In addition to the coaching staff, the team received baseball instruction from a lot of other baseball-minded people. Zack Brown has worked with the group over the winter when he is home from the Milwaukee Brewers. Other players, from both professional and collegiate teams, have also helped out.

“I am proud of our former players and our coaches for taking time to work with these younger guys,” Richey said. “They have improved tremendously over the last six years and we are really looking forward to this class joining the classes above and below it, making Seymour baseball better.”

Some of the players reflected on their experience.

“It was great playing with all of my best friends and it was awesome how we competed against all of the best teams,” Braden Richey said. “I was in tears after our last game.”

“Playing with my friends was fun,” Tylan Nicholson added. “Coach Harpe, coach Richey and the other coaches all made me a better player. I look forward to playing for coach Richey again in high school.”

“It has been so much fun playing with these guys and we were lucky to have such good coaches,” Parker Thompson said. “I can’t wait to play with them again in high school.”

The 2020 baseball season will look much different for the Sharks players.

Moving into 13U travel baseball, nine of the boys have already committed to play for regional travel organizations in Indianapolis and Southern Indiana. All 12 players anticipate joining their other baseball playing classmates by playing on the Seymour Middle School baseball team.

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