“It’s not how you start but how you finish!” would have been a fitting motto for our team this season. After winning the regular season last year and losing in the playoffs to a rowdy Loyola team, the boys knew from the final out last season that we had our work cut out for us if we were going to repeat without last year’s league MVP, Alec Morea ‘15, who graduated. The boys took it upon themselves to get their bodies ready to compete and their skills up to par. After two easy wins to start the season, Browning struggled to maintain our swagger and poise which made us so tough in years past.
We dropped six league contests in a row (and seven overall) headed in to the final week tied for last place in the NYCAL. This is when the boys flipped the switch, winning our final two regular season games to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot. Although we were set to face off with undefeated league champion Columbia Prep, we had completely regained our team “grit!” In the two regular season games, Columbia had beaten us 13-3 and 12-4, so it wasn’t going to be easy. The boys dismantled the Lions, 6-0, in the semi-finals, thanks to a dominant performance by freshman sensation Shazeb Dayani on the hill and supported by the whole team. This set the table for the final rematch between Loyola and Browning. Like last year, we led by four runs headed into the late innings, and also like last year, Loyola battled back to tie the game late. But unlike last year, this time the boys showed their “Panther pride” and scored in the top of the final inning to bring home the title where it belongs. This was a special group of boys and one that we have been very proud to coach and even more proud to have represent Browning! Here’s to the 2016 NYCAL Postseason Champions!
-Coaches Andrew West, Mike Cohn, Matt Brown and Lauck Blake