Preseason practices for high school baseball and softball pitchers and catchers are scheduled to begin Monday, and baseball players at Old Town and Orono high schools will be greeted by new varsity coaches.
Brad Goody has been hired to replace Dave Utterback at Old Town, as Utterback stepped down last summer after being named athletic administrator at Brewer High School.
Jason Coleman, already the boys varsity basketball coach at Orono, now takes over the Red Riots’ baseball program after veteran coach Don Joseph decided over the winter not to return to the post.
Goody was an assistant coach at Old Town under Utterback last spring as the Coyotes finished 8-9 and reached the Eastern Maine Class B preliminary round.
The 2003 OTHS graduate previously served as the head baseball coach at Central of Corinth for two seasons in 2010 and 2011, and before that was a middle-school baseball coach in Old Town for three years.
“I’m super excited,” said Goody. “I kind of had the idea something like this might happen when I left Central and came back to Old Town, because I knew Dave was going to move on to bigger and better things.
“But I didn’t think it would happen in a year. I’m excited for him, but I’m also excited to have this opportunity.”
Goody also has coached football in both the Old Town and Orono school systems, last fall in Old Town under Coyotes head coach Nick Arthers.
Arthers will serve as an assistant baseball coach under Goody, as will Don Sparkman and Micah Cram — who also were baseball assistants during Goody’s playing days at Old Town.
Jake Arthers, Nick’s younger brother, will coach the Old Town junior varsity baseball team.
“We’ve got 35 kids signed up for baseball,” said Goody, whose team opens its regular season April 16 at home against Orono. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Coleman, a 2003 graduate of Orono High School, also brings a diversified resume to his first varsity baseball coaching job.
He worked in minor league baseball for six years with two organizations, the independent Bangor Lumberjacks and later the Class A Augusta (Ga.) Green Jackets.
Coleman also has coached middle school baseball in Veazie and Orono and last summer coached the Motor City American Legion team that includes Orono High School players.
“When I got involved in Legion last year, I realized how much I enjoyed being involved with baseball,” said Coleman, who has coached the Orono High School boys basketball team for the past two winters and also has been an assistant football coach at area high schools, most recently at Brewer last fall.
Coleman takes over an Orono baseball team that finished 13-5 last spring and advanced to the Eastern Maine Class C semifinals.
The Red Riots suffered significant graduation losses but Coleman is buoyed by the fact that 30 players in grades 9-12 have signed up for baseball at the school this spring.
After playing its season opener at Old Town, Orono will play its first home game April 18 against Stearns of Millinocket. The Red Riots will play their home games at Mahaney Diamond on the campus of the University of Maine.