T.C. baseball finishes best year in two decades

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The 2008 the T. C. Williams Varsity Baseball Team concluded its most successful season in recent memory with a 5-2 loss to number two ranked Stonebridge in the Northern Region Tournament.

The Titans 12 victories this season were the most games won by a T. C. Williams team in nearly 20 years and the team’s appearance in the Northern Region Tournament was the first for the Titans since 1998.

The conclusion of a high school athletic season is always accompanied by a sense of transition with the graduation of seniors, and the competition for varsity positions among   the junior varsity players.

The magnitude of the transitions was amplified for this years Titan team when, on June 13, head coach Scott Grossi formally announced that he will not be returning to coach the Titans.

In addition to his duties as head baseball coach at T. C. Williams for the last three  years and as an assistant for the two years preceding that, Coach Grossi has pursued a career as a Capitol Hill police officer. Most recently, Coach Grossi applied for a position in federal law enforcement which would preclude him from investing the time and energy necessary to coach the Titans. The position may also require him to move from Northern Virginia.

In announcing his resignation at the teams end of season party on June 13, Coach Grossi characteristically deflected credit for the rise of the program from himself to the players.  In his remarks to the team, Coach Grossi emphasized how much it meant to him to have been with the T. C. Williams program for five years, and to have been involved coaching many of the seniors during their entire high school baseball careers.

Sam Bair, a senior and one of the players who has been under Coach Grossi’s leadership for five years, summed up Coach Grossis value to the team when he described Coach Grossis energy during practice.  He described Coach Grossi as always being on the move, one minute teaching middle infielders and the next moment working with catchers on foot work or outfielders on relays.

Bair, who was named by the coaches as the most valuable player on the 2008 Titans team said in closing that, Coach Grossi really did a lot to help baseball not only at T. C. but in Alexandria.  The program will really miss him next year, but he has laid the foundation.  Now the next coach has got to keep building it up.

On June 24, T. C. Williams Athletic Director Kerry Donley, announced that the new head coach will be Andrew Simpson.  Coach Simpson was the head junior varsity coach at T. C. Williams in 2006 and 2007 and led those teams to a combined 21-15 record.  Simpson was an assistant to Grossi on the varsity level with the 2008 team.

With the hiring of Simpson, Donley emphasized his dedication to the T. C. Williams program and his familiarity with the program and the current players.  “This, coupled with Coach Simpsons knowledge and love of the game, places him a unique position to be able continue and build on the tradition of excellence Coach Grossi began during his five years at the helm of the Titans,” Donley said.

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