Young mind to lead Trojans

Essler, 25, looking to reshape Clawson High baseball program

By: Mike Moore | Royal Oak Review | Published April 3, 2018

 Eric Essler, 25, is ready to build the Clawson High  baseball program in his first year as manager.

Eric Essler, 25, is ready to build the Clawson High baseball program in his first year as manager.

Photo provided by Clawson athletics


CLAWSON — He has no prior coaching experience, and at 25 years old, he won’t be that much older than some of his eldest players.

Bring on the challenge.

In fact, the aforementioned attributes are advantages, according to first-year Clawson High baseball coach Eric Essler.

“Age is not a concern for me at all,” Essler said. “For me, the one thing about being younger, I don’t have to tell my guys something, I can show them. Whether it’s hitting, or throwing or running, I can go out and do it. At the same time, the biggest thing is relating to the goods and the bads at their age. It wasn’t too long ago I was there going through what they are right now.”

Athletics is nothing new to the 2011 graduate of Monroe Jefferson.

He’s been officiating baseball, softball and hockey for nearly a decade, at one level or another.

He played baseball at Jefferson, and continues to play in adult leagues now.

“But when I heard the opportunity to coach at Clawson was coming up, I jumped at it,” Essler said. “I met with the administration, we discussed some things, agreed on the direction of the team, and I felt it was a great opportunity to build a program and establish ourselves in the community.”

 Essler, 25, is a Clawson resident and a teacher at the high school.

He said he’s been most impressed with his players so far.

“They’ve responded very well to me,” Essler said. “This is a great group of guys, very hardworking.”

He spoke at length of the need to build the program up and to establish Clawson as a consistent, yearly power in the Macomb Area Conference.

The Trojans haven’t won a division title since 2013.

Still, Essler knows this isn’t something that can happen overnight.

“The goal is to build more of the recognition of the program around here,” he said. “We want more people involved, more students involved and excited about this team. The goal is the culture and building that up. As that gets better, the results will follow.”