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Thursday, August 11, 2022
FairfaxVienna Post 180 works to assemble a strong team

Vienna Post 180 works to assemble a strong team

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Having won a district-tournament championship followed by a strong showing in the state tournament, Vienna Post 180 enjoyed another highly-successful summer season of American Legion baseball.

Vienna has been one of the best programs in the state for many years, winning consecutive state titles in 2018 and 2019 as the proof.

That consistent winning doesn’t come without constant and considerable busy and persistent work of roster-building and recruiting, as Post 180 manager Nick Good attests. He said those efforts pay off to put Vienna in position to win on the field.

Good attracted a number of college-age players this season, along with high-schoolers who either graduated in June or will be returning players next spring.

Vienna finished the season with a 21-7 overall record and a top-four in the state tournament.

As many as 11 players on Post 180’s team either were on college rosters in 2022, are rising college sophomores or will play collegiately in 2023. Good had discussions with each at different times over weeks and months, asking if they were interested in playing Legion ball for Vienna, or returning to play for another season.

“It takes a lot of work to put a roster together, and you have to work hard and stay at it all the time,” Good said. “During the high-school season I’m at games every night watching potential players and talking to them about joining our team. And I stay in contact with college-age players.”

Among college-bound players from Vienna’s team were 2022 high-school graduates Ethan Jones (Oakton, Shepherd University), Bannon Brazell (Madison, Radford University), Colin Casey (South Lakes, Randolph-Macon University), Robbie Reddington (South Lakes, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Bobby Dingell (Gonzaga, DeSales University) and Noah Brogan (Florida Southern College).

Vienna players who played on college teams this past spring included Ian Babey (Essex Community College of Baltimore County), Jacob Wechselblatt (Northern Vermont University-Lyndon) and John Klein (Washington & Jefferson College). Matt Allen was on the Emory & Henry College roster in 2021.

Mac Kopka was one of Vienna’s top pitchers this summer, and has been a three-year player for Post 180. He attended the University of Tennessee as a freshman in 2021-22, but did not play college baseball. He may try to play for the school’s club baseball team next spring.

All of those players have had significant impacts on the field for Vienna this season.

In addition, current high-school players Tanner Vislay and Jonah Neihardt were big contributors, along with 2022 Madison graduates Patrick Colyar, Tanner Wharton and Scott Hurthun, and 2022 Jefferson High grad Ryan Dwyer, whose father played for Post 180 years ago.

“When the season ends, it’s not long before I’m contacting potential players for the next season,” Good said. “You have to do that.”

NOTE: Vienna finished 2-2 in the recent state-tournament played in Arlington. Vienna was eliminated by Chesapeake Seals Post 280 by virtue of a 4-3 walkoff loss.

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