For the Retif Oilers, a Journey Well Worth It
At a Morning Assembly, Joey Latino, who is head baseball coach for both the Blue Jays’ baseball team and Jesuit’s American Legion team, the Retif Oilers, was given the privilege of addressing the student body regarding Retif’s 2015 summer season, which ended with the team going all the way to the World Series in Shelby, NC.
Here is what Coach Latino told the students, faculty, and staff:
Back in February, as part of our preparation for the upcoming season, we held what has become a very special annual Mass for the varsity and 8th grade teams. During this celebration we offer these words to the 8th grade players and their parents: “We cannot promise the journey will be easy, but we can promise it will be worth it.”
I believe this past summer’s American Legion baseball team is the perfect embodiment of this sentiment.
There was nothing easy about our summer. We started 1-4 and there were already doubters and critics. But the boys stayed committed to process, committed to hard work, and most importantly, committed to each other. In a word they… Trusted.
It would be hard for me to recap all the highlights from the State Tournament, the Mid-South Regional Tournament, and the World Series. There were enough thrilling walk-off victories, improbable comebacks, and personal heroics to fill a scrapbook.
But consider this, after the aforementioned 1-4 start, the team posted a 34-3 record, including 13-1 in tournament play. Ironically, the only tournament loss came in the World Series championship game.
During the two-week span that covered the Mid-South Regional and World Series, members of the Retif Oil team made an indelible impression on the communities of Conway, AR and Shelby, NC. They represented — with the utmost class — Jesuit High School, Retif Oil, First District American Legion, the City of New Orleans, and the State of Louisiana. They displayed levels of discipline, character, and respect of which we can all be proud. Throughout those two grueling weeks on the road, they never wavered.
To the administration, faculty, guidance counselors, staff, and student body: our most sincere gratitude, not only for your support and well-wishes, but also for being such an integral part of the formation of these boys.
My only regret is the graduated seniors are not here with us. David Boh, Chris Calderara, Scott Crabtree, Harrison Daste, Daniel Edmund, Trent Forshag, Alex Galy, and Ben Hess represent some of the finest we have ever had the pleasure to coach. Their loyalty and determination to see the journey to its completion gave the underclassmen examples they would be wise to follow.
My heartfelt thanks to all the players for making this particular part of my coaching journey so worth it!