2013-02-22 / Sports Spotlight

Scarborough nine has a new coach

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer


Ryan Jones has been named the new head coach for the Scarborough High School baseball program. Jones served as an assistant coach last season in which Scarborough made it to the Class A state final, but lost of Messalonskee High School 6-3. Jones won a state title with Bangor High School in 2006 and played two seasons on the baseball team at the University of Southern Maine. (Michael Kelley photo) Ryan Jones has been named the new head coach for the Scarborough High School baseball program. Jones served as an assistant coach last season in which Scarborough made it to the Class A state final, but lost of Messalonskee High School 6-3. Jones won a state title with Bangor High School in 2006 and played two seasons on the baseball team at the University of Southern Maine. (Michael Kelley photo) Scarborough High School baseball is about to start a new chapter this spring as Ryan Jones takes over for former head coach Mike Coutts.

Coutts resigned from the position last year to join his wife, Lynne on the softball staff at the University of Maine.

Jones, who served as an assistant baseball coach in Scarborough last season, was officially named Coutts’ replacement Friday, Feb. 8.

“I am very excited and I feel very fortunate because there were other candidates with good credentials and who were very qualified,” Jones said earlier this week. “Being a young coach, I felt very fortunate to get an opportunity to coach such a great group of kids in a community that loves sports.”

The transition between coaches, Jones said, will be seamless.

Jones has worked with Coutts for four years at The Edge Academy, a youth baseball and softball training center in Portland.

“I’ve been able to learn baseball stuff and life lessons from him,” Jones said of Coutts.

Jones said he looks forward to starting the season again and as an assistant with the program last year is already familiar with the players on the team.

“I know the personnel already,” Jones said. “We only lost three players from last year so there is a great core of players returning who all know the expectations for next year.”

Jones, who grew up in Bangor, won a state championship with Bangor High School in 2006, his senior year.

That fall, Jones headed to the University of Southern Maine to play golf, but soon realized that baseball was a game that he was not willing to give up so instead of playing golf that fall, he tried out for the baseball team as a walk-on.

Jones made the roster and played on the team for his first two years before being cut by Ed Flaherty, who has coached baseball at USM since 1986 and whose son, Ryan is a utility infielder for the Baltimore Orioles.

“I was more of a bench guy, but I knew my role,” Jones said. “I knew that with the hard work I was putting in, I’d be ready if they needed me to start.”

After getting cut, Jones said he turned to coaching part-time at The Edge Academy in order to stay with the sport he learned to love at a young age.

“I’ve always had baseball in my blood. It’s been a huge passion of mine,” Jones said.

Although the high school baseball season doesn’t start for another month, Jones is already thinking about his roster for the spring. Tryouts for the team are scheduled for Monday, March 25.

One of the positions Jones will be looking to fill is that of starting catcher, a position held down by Conor McCann last year. McCann graduated last spring and now attends Boston College.

“He was top of the top in the (Southwestern Maine Activities Association) for catching as far as I am concerned,” Jones said. “With any team, you really need a catcher that pitchers can trust, that coaches can trust. It makes our job easier.”

The outlook for this spring’s season, Jones said, is good. Last season the team made it to the Class A state championship where it lost 6-3 to Messalonskee High School.

Scarborough won the conference championship in dramatic fashion when Joe Cronin hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead Scarborough over Cheverus, 7-5.

“That probably was the best game I have seen as a player or a coach. It was a great game,” Jones said. “It literally came down to the last pitch. There wasn’t any point in the game where either team felt like they had secured the win.”

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