Madison Heights Bishop Foley senior Cameron Cope takes a swing March 21 during practice. The Ventures are back and looking to defend their state title under new leadership.

Madison Heights Bishop Foley senior Cameron Cope takes a swing March 21 during practice. The Ventures are back and looking to defend their state title under new leadership.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Bishop Foley baseball back in action

By: Mark Vest | Madison - Park News | Published April 9, 2018

 Bishop Foley players work on their base running during a recent practice.

Bishop Foley players work on their base running during a recent practice.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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Often times when a new coach is assigned to lead a program, it is not under the best of circumstances.

A job vacancy can be synonymous with a program that struggled the season prior, and perhaps for the last several years.

Such is not the case for Timothy McEvoy, who is in his first year leading Madison Heights Bishop Foley’s baseball program.

Last season the Ventures won the Division 3 state championship, which followed the three consecutive titles the program won from 2011 to 2013.

After serving as an assistant at Bloomfield Hills High, McEvoy was the head coach at Detroit Renaissance last season.

He is aware of the tradition that is in place at Foley and said he is very excited about the chance to lead the program.

“I love the Bishop Foley community and the resources,” McEvoy said. “(Athletic Director) Brian Hassler has been a huge help getting me acclimated and acquainted, and making me feel comfortable. The resources over at Bishop Foley are great — beautiful field, beautiful complex. I’m glad to be a part of this team.”

Helping McEvoy lead Foley are his assistants, Dennis Olszewski and Derek Lehman.

“I’ve got a great coaching staff in Dennis and Derek,” McEvoy said. “I feel like these guys are exceptional assistant coaches and do just as much as I do for the program.”

Although McEvoy said this year’s squad is deep, from his perspective, it’s a brand-new start for the Ventures.

“The success in the past, including last year, is obviously great, but we can’t rest on what we did in the past,” McEvoy said. “I’ll have these guys really thinking about staying in the moment and just taking it one day at a time, one practice at a time, one game at a time. … I don’t really think too much about their past. I think we’re trying to create something new now, and I think we got a really good group to do it.”

Some of the players who are expected to help Foley stay at a high level are the team’s four returning starters from last season: seniors Mason Minzey (catcher), Ethan Hoffman (pitcher/outfielder), Tommy Riley (second baseman) and Evan Ludwick (shortstop).

“I expect all four of them to have big years,” McEvoy said. “I think that this is going to be all four of their best years to date. I think that Ethan Hoffman is really going to emerge as one of the top pitchers in the state. And I feel that our catcher, Mason Minzey, I feel like he’s a top player in the state as well.”

Being around the seniors who were part of last season’s championship team benefited this year’s leaders.

“They taught us a lot, and now me and Mason being the captains (along with Hoffman), we can teach all the younger guys who are playing this year how to handle that pressure and how to deal with going through the toughest time of the season,” Ludwick said.

Minzey said he’s excited for the season.

“I think we all are. Just being able to get on the field and practice and everything, (it’s a) very exciting time of the year,” he said.

McEvoy included winning a Catholic High School League title and another state championship as two of the program’s goals.

And aside from the potential that is there to make this season another great one, Foley could be set up to have several more years of success.

“I think the state of (the) program is very strong,” McEvoy said. “I think obviously a tradition was built before I got here, so that’s nice, walking into that. The guys all have high expectations for themselves and the team. … I think that this is (going to) be a very strong program for the next five to 10 years.”

 

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