Shaw selected as new MHS baseball coach
The Madras baseball team has a new coach for next year — Jerry Shaw will be taking over the program.
Shaw just finished his first year as the business teacher at the high school. He was working with the liaisons three years previously and is now teaching the CT business course. Shaw has been working at MHS for five years.
Shaw is a big part of the rise of the MHS football program and has been coaching that sport for seven years. He is currently the head defensive coordinator and he won the Tri-Valley Conference football assistant coach of the year in the 2017 season.
This past season, Shaw was the junior varsity softball coach at the high school. The team only lost one game all season. They lost their first game of the year to Marist and it was the first time the team stepped on a field due to the severe snow.
"I have played and coached baseball longer than I have with football," Shaw said. "I coached my daughter in softball all the way up to the high school level and did the same kind of thing with my son through a lot of travel ball teams. As my son (Darren Shaw) got to the high school age, I felt it was time for him to learn from other coaches."
Shaw has never coached high school baseball before, but has coached the sport in youth leagues.
"I coached mainly 14U (for kids ages 14 and under) teams, based out of Redmond," he said. "I always had an interest coaching baseball with Sam (McCormick) and talked with him about baseball, but I felt like I wasn't going to be someone who asks him (if I could) come coach. I never felt like it was my position to ask to be on the staff. I thought if he wanted me, he would approach me and I decided to go that route."
"I wanted Darren to play at the high school level and thought it would be time to hang up the cleats and gloves. I wanted to be a dad and watch him, while I continue coaching football. This last year, Shawna McConnell (MHS varsity softball coach) asked me if I wanted to coach the JV softball team."
"As far as baseball knowledge goes, I have played and coached for a long time. It's just probably the last six years I haven't been involved in baseball," he said. "I have always kept a close eye on what has been going on with baseball, talking to other coaches around the state."
The Madras baseball team ended the season with a 7-16 overall record, 5-10 in league play. The young team had no seniors and finished fifth in the Tri-Valley Conference.
They made the 4A state quarterfinals in the 2018 season under coach Sam McCormick. McCormick was the head baseball coach starting in 2014.
Recruitment and JV team
"I believe we have a lot of talent in the school and a lot of talent coming into the program," Shaw said. "I was on the football staff when we finished the season with only 13 healthy varsity players on the team. Now we have this program rolling and turning around. I have a (baseball) model in place to build the baseball program back."
"My big push is really going to be recruiting," he said. "I really want to develop quality young men, very much like we do with our core values in football. I am a big believer in those values and I think we need to establish our culture and the personality of our team, teaching them what it takes to be a good teammate."
"I want them to be quality young men so they can be good fathers, good husbands, good employees and good citizens," Shaw said. "That is going to be first and foremost. Getting the numbers up and keeping those numbers up. I also want to bring fun back to the game of baseball."
"One of the things talking to the guys is, baseball can be a really long, grinding sport," he said. "We want to get better and improve all the time, but it is still a game. I want them to enjoy their experience as a student athlete, so when they leave, they look back on their time here, really enjoying their experience and the wins will take care of themselves with that."
Madras baseball is not participating in a summer baseball league. With Shaw taking over the program so soon, he said there was not enough time to get everything done to make sure a players would be able to play summer baseball, in addition to honoring several other commitments the athletes had already made.
The baseball program was short on numbers last season and did not have a JV team. Younger players practiced together with the older kids, but did not end up with very much playing time at the varsity level.
"A JV team is really important," Shaw said. "Having players that can swing up and swing down is so important because it is about competing, playing games, and doing it in practice doesn't give them the experience they need. If we have a strong varsity program and a good JV program, giving guys opportunities will be huge for the development of these kids."
"I am meeting with some of the former staff here to talk about some things and see if they want to be a part of what we are doing," Shaw said. "I think continuity in the staff is a huge thing. That is what helps with kids getting better year to year and building that trust. They need to trust us, just as much as we trust them."