Sunday, March 9, 2014
BY GARY HAWKINS
Jared Lemieux's baseball career has taken him from two high school state championships to a stellar career at Bowdoin College to a four-year odyssey through independent league ball in two countries.
This week it came full circle when Lemieux was hired as head baseball coach at his alma mater, Maranacook Community High School. He replaces Scott Underhill, who resigned after a year on the job due to travel commitments.
"I'm excited about it," Lemieux said. "I kind of want to re-energize the program."
Lemieux has already scheduled clinics this month and next in an effort to generate community support.
"It takes the parents getting excited and involved with it," he said. "We won a district all-star game when I was 10. It was a snowball effect."
Throughout his playing career, Lemieux continued to coach. He currently works at Frozen Ropes, an indoor baseball and softball facility in Portland where he conducts hitting clinics and runs an indoor league.
After graduating from Bowdoin where he set several hitting records, Lemieux continued to coach there for two years. He later signed on for two years at Springfield College where he coached the sub-varsity team and earned a Masters degree in sports and recreation management.
"He's extremely motivated," Maranacook athletic director Al MacGregor said. "He's a graduate of the school and he's well respected by the faculty in the building."
Lemieux, 27, started for Class B state championship teams at Maranacook in 2000 and 2002. The Black Bears also reached the state title game in 2001 where they lost to John Bapst. Lemieux played outfield, pitched and even caught for the first time in his career in the 2002 state title game. He was one of the team's most enthusiastic players.
"When I was there we had a good group of guys who were excited to play baseball," he said. "It was their No. 1 sport."
Lemieux plans to rekindle that enthusiasm and knows it may take a couple of years. Last year's team went 7-10 and lost in a tournament prelim game to rival Oak Hill.
"There's a few upperclassmen," he said of this year's team. "It's going to be a young team, but we have some pretty solid baseball players."
Lemieux has scheduled a clinic at the school from March 21-25 which also is the week that high school pitchers and catchers can begin workouts. It's open to kids from 7-18 throughout the area.
This summer Lemieux will be an assistant coach for the Old Orchard Raging Tide, a team in the New England Collegiate Baseball League that will play at The Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach.
Gary Hawkins -- 621-5638