In Play with Tom Markowski

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Having fun is part St. Patrick’s secret to success

By: Tom Markowski, June 16, 2017, 8:35 pm

East Lansing – Portland St. Patrick has the right idea. The high school experience should be one that the students enjoy and forget about the pressures social media and life in general can bring.

Winning helps, too.

The Shamrocks won a wild one on Friday as they scored eight runs in the final three innings to defeat Unionville-Sebewaing, 12-8, in a Division 4 semifinal at Michigan State’s McLane Stadium.

For the second consecutive season St. Patrick (28-0-1) will play for a title. Last year it lost to Sterling Heights Parkway Christian, 10-3. On Saturday the Shamrocks will attempt to win their first state title when they play Hudson (27-16) at 5 p.m.

Hudson, which had never won a region title until this season, hung on to defeat Gaylord St. Mary, 6-4, in the second semifinal.

Pressure? None whatsoever. The team, including the underclassmen, were headed to a graduation party following their come-from-behind victory.

That’s the way to get ready for a state title. Stay loose and have fun.

St. Patrick is a school with 92 students, more than half are female. Next year they’re expecting a huge freshmen class that will bring the number of students to 103.

It’s remarkable how competitive the athletic programs have been over the years for such a small school.

Since 1993, the girls basketball program has won six Class D titles and reached the final three other times.

The football program won a state title (Class D) in 1992 and two other times it reached a state final.

The softball team won the Class D title in 1981.

So now the baseball gets another shot. St. Patrick reached a Class D final in 1973 and 1993, and last season it played for the Division 4 title.

“Our motto is losing is unacceptable,” coach Bryan Scheurer said.