New baseball coach, senior class leads team into 2020 season

Matt+Adams+and+his+staff+had+a+large+showing+at+their+players+meeting+prior+to+tryouts.+The+Birds+are+set+to+open+their+season+on+April+6+against+Wayne.

Matt Adams and his staff had a large showing at their players meeting prior to tryouts. The Birds are set to open their season on April 6 against Wayne.

By Tyler Gade, Flyer Staff

There is a lot of pressure on high school coaches, especially head coaches at the varsity level. Whether a veteran or a first timer, leading an entire program is a big responsibility. 

Matt Adams, math teacher and former varsity basketball assistant coach for the Birds, is beginning his first year as the varsity baseball coach at Fairmont High School. 

Adams takes over after long-time coach Kent Drake resigned. Drake was the head baseball coach for the Birds for 11 seasons. 

Adams has experience coaching baseball with the Dayton Dodgers through REB organization and the Dayton Classics, but this will be his first venture at the helm of a  high school program. He is looking to his veteran players, including 14 seniors, to take charge as the season begins. 

“We have a great group of seniors who are leading the way and setting the tone,” he said. 

Relationships and trust are the foundation of a solid team, and Adams knows that it’s more than just on the field strategy.

“It all starts with the brotherhood and how we are in the dugout and loving one another,” he said.  “Everything builds from there.”

As a veteran educator, Adams strongly believes in teaching and its relationship with athletics. 

“Coaching is just another form of teaching, it’s just teaching athletes instead of students,” he said.

As tryouts commenced and teams were formed, the new coach put a heavy emphasis on how he selected his players for each team. 

“Age doesn’t matter, so players will play where their ability level puts them,” he said. “Whoever deserves to play will play,” he said. 

Along with ability, Adams values high-character athletes who do the right thing, both on and off of the field.

“As a father I teach it, as a teacher I teach it, and as a coach I teach it. If you don’t have the right character, then we don’t have a place for you in the culture of the team.”

When asked what the hardest thing he has encountered as a brand new coach was so far … he couldn’t think of much. 

“There haven’t been a lot of difficulties, but to be honest the most difficult was just finding space. Everyone wanted to be here, so finding the time and space to do that was the hardest part.” 

The Birds finished the 2019 season with a record of 11-14, losing 3-2 in the postseason to the Carroll Patriots.  

As high school sports continue to raise the bar and the competition gets tougher, building a complete team that can compete at the highest level is crucial. 

“Our players are very prepared for the upcoming season and this group has an impressive work ethic,” he said.