Photos by Bethany McCullough | CatchMark
Paul Herremans didn’t enter the coaching profession for the accolades, but he’ll certainly be departing with plenty.
The 32nd-year head baseball coach for Ravenna added another milestone Friday in the Bulldogs’ sweep of host Howard City Tri County. The ’Dogs defeated the Vikings 13-9 in the first game, then they earned a 12-2, five-inning win in the second game for Herremans’ 500th career victory.
Herremans, 70, is planning to retire at the end of this season.
“A lot of people don’t get to here because they don’t coach as long, you know. They move around or get in or get out,” he said.
“It’s a little surreal. It’s always just been the next team, the next season and everything, and obviously that’s not going to be the same way because I’m not going to be in charge. I’ll still be around to help, but it’s not going to be the same thing like I’m running the program.”
Players presented a signed baseball to Herremans in their postgame huddle in the outfield grass.
Overall, Herremans is 500-445 in his head coaching career with the Ravenna baseball program after taking over in 1991.
Herremans was inducted into the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2018. Under his watch, the Bulldogs have won five West Michigan Conference titles, five district championships and one regional crown. The ’Dogs advanced to the Class C state semifinals in 1991.
In the first game Friday, Dayton Thomas doubled twice, drove in four runs and scored two times to power Ravenna offensively. Collin Poley picked up the pitching win, allowing only two hits and one unearned run in three innings of relief work.
In the second game, Thomas doubled and triple while driving in a pair of runs and scoring three times. Thomas McCullough doubled among his two hits, while he also drove in a run and scored three times. Poley went 3-for-3. Brandon McFarren notched the win, allowing four hits and two runs (one earned) over three innings.
Ravenna is 19-8 overall this season, finishing 9-5 in the West Michigan Conference. The Bulldogs on a roll, winners in 14 of their last 16 games.
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