Come Right Up And Meet The MatzMay 16, 2016Posted by james
You can learn a lot from a high school coach. The coach will tell you about a player’s work ethic, dedication and outlook on life.
Lou Petrucci has coached baseball at Long Island’s Ward Melville High School in East Setauket for 10 years. He’s been around baseball for more than 25 years. Besides coaching, he has been an umpire and a sports writer.
When a corporate buyout released Lou from Newsday, he returned to college and earned a master’s in education from Hofstra University. He became a sixth-grade teacher and then he was offered the coaching position.
Lou knows a lot about a former player for Ward Melville — New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz. Here are just a few of Lou’s insights about the young man:
When he tore a pitching arm ligament that resulted in surgery, Steven was very young and he faced some difficult decisions. According to Lou, he worked through the disappointment and became more determined to pitch in the big leagues. Future success, said Lou, now is all up to him.
Steven also has a commitment to community. According to his former coach, Steven always gives back to his community and his team. Every winter and fall, Steven works with the current kids on his old high school team. He also has traveled to Honduras to help distribute supplies and to interact with children. At the year-end holidays, he visits the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital just to talk with the kids and sign autographs.
Lou indicated that Steven’s ability to give of himself to others at this young age while he still is reaching for his professional success can be attributed to many personal traits and the support of family. Mostly, though, the coach believes he is reciprocating for all the times he was on the receiving end of other people’s generosity — high school teammates who turned into his role models, former major leaguers who provided countless pitching lessons and an entire town that adorned street signs and lampposts with blue and orange ribbons when he pitched during the World Series. Steven has taken to heart the generosity of others. Now, he wants to do the same for others.
Lou said that the many people in Steven’s camp always have had his back. His high school coach attributes this to one thing – Steven is a fabulous person.
A strong arm and a good upbringing will take you far in major league baseball and in life.