The small town of Chambersburg, PA and Wilson College have something very exciting happening this year. For the first time in Wilson College history, the college will be putting a baseball team on the field. Henninger Field is the root of the community’s history with baseball. It was here the 1929 World Championship was played. The New York Yankees played an exhibition game and the legendary Babe Ruth hit a homerun. This will also be where the baseball team will be hosting their home games.
Leading the team will be Coach Poss, who will be Wilson’s first head coach in its history, having an extensive baseball background, both as a professional ball player and a successful coach. Since 2012, he has led the St. Mary’s Catholic High School program in Annapolis, Maryland to a 123-28 record and 22 of his student athletes were able to continue playing at the collegiate level. Before taking over the program at St. Mary’s Catholic, Poss served as an assistant coach at his high school alma mater DeMatha Catholic, where he helped lead the powerhouse program to two Maryland State Private School championships. After a successful collegiate playing career for NCAA Division 1 programs at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and Winthrop University, Poss enjoyed a professional playing career in the Frontier and Atlantic Leagues as well as a stint in the Baltimore Orioles organization in 2000.
Poss stated, “I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the Phoenix family. It also felt great that Lori Frey and the search committee put their trust in me to run this program and coach this great group of young guys.” Coach Poss also said he wanted to coach this first-year program because he can mold the program the way he
wants and it’s a complete fresh start as he won’t be taking over the job from a previous head coach. For their upcoming first season, he hopes the players lay it all out on the field and give it 110% every time they step between those lines every 9 innings, along with that a big goal, to make the playoffs with the young team that we have. As of now, Coach Poss is taking things a day at a time but he eventually hopes that the program becomes a DIII powerhouse in the Mid-Atlantic.
After hiring a new coach, the search for players had begun. The roster quickly started to fill with players coming from all parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida, Georgia, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Texas, Italy, The Dominican Republic and Australia. Two of the players recruited, James Husar ‘20 and Josh Harvey ’20, were named the first captains in the team’s history. With both of them being older guys they hope to share experiences and mentor the younger players so they don’t make some of the mistakes they did. They also want to show them the difference between high school and college, how to be responsible, and how to be accountable for your actions on and off the field.
When Husar was asked how it felt to be named one of the founding captains in the program’s history, he commented, “It’s humbling to be part of the first group of captains and be one of the first of many to come.” He is also hoping to set an example for every captain chosen after. Husar left a previous successful program that he was a part of because of his love for the game. He is also from a small town, so coming here he said, “felt like home and I just fell in love”. This season, Husar is looking forward to a fresh start and being a part of history.
The baseball team drew in a few international students like Harvey, who moved to Wilson College because he was able to find opportunities better in America than Australia. “Also, there is no college baseball in Australia,” added Harvey. For being Harvey’s first year at Wilson College, the school has already impacted him in positive ways. “[Wilson] has allowed me to meet new people and make new friends, given me a chance to grow and improve in baseball, and also helped expand my knowledge.”