Shane Ramsey stood in front of Heritage baseball players and parents with a calm, yet demanding demeanor.
"If you'll let me, I'm gonna make you a better player," Ramsey said.
When Heritage Athletic Director Chuck Landy introduced Ramsey to the crowd, he said that it was important to find somebody that wanted to be here. "It's a great place to be," Landy said.
As the new baseball coach, the fifth at Heritage in the last 39 years, Ramsey is taking over a program that has a tradition of winning and consistency from its head coaching position. It's a tradition Ramsey recognizes and one he'll add to with his competitive drive and the work ethic he expects of his teammates, which was on full display at the meeting.
"It's a lot of expectations because I know what has been done here. To be the fifth coach in the last 39 years, that's huge," Ramsey said. "I think what I bring is I'm gonna be aggressive. I'm gonna bring some excitement here. I want the guys to know that, one, I care about them and two, we're gonna work. I know from what I've been told, they've worked hard. I want to increase that to where we're starting to see success in the field."
"Long-term I want my guys going to college," he added. "I want them to be able to play college baseball, it's important to me. I think at a school like this with this tradition that's had guys go into college and play professionally and we should be able to get there and I believe we will."
Ramsey says that he'll adapt how his team plays to the talent he has. he's played small-ball before, using bunts and hit-and-runs to manufacture runs and he's also been led teams that have hitting power and speed. Ramsey wants to be aggressive and put pressure on the defense.
Defensively, Ramsey says the team will work hard in practice. He added that practices will be set up to allow players to get time with the team, at their respective positions and individual time. All of this, Ramsey hopes, will culminate into winning the two "ships" he cares most about: championships and scholarships.
"I wanna be able to develop my guys to where that's the goal every year, but if we don't reach that goal it doesn't tear them down," Ramsey said. "I know going into this year we're gonna have a possibility of being young so we're gonna have some ups and downs. We want to be able to really work on - as a coaching staff - player development so we can handle those situations."
Ramsey is excited about the offseason, which he says he loves. His plan for Heritage players begins in October and November when he and his staff will get the chance to enforce their philosophy on how he wants the team to practice, hit, throw and pitch.
The team will get in the weight room, where Ramsey plans to strengthen their cores and build mental toughness.
"To me conditioning is not about getting in shape it's about building mental toughness. It's about fighting through those barriers. I'm excited about that," Ramsey said.
In August, Ramsey, who says he'll have an open door policy, plans to give his players a handbook detailing what he expects of them on and off the field, but also what they should expect of him. Players will run poles, even in the offseason, if they have any disciplinary issues. He's anxious to begin working with his new team.
"I'm excited to be here. I'm looking forward to getting going," Ramsey said. "Got here late in the summer so I'm biting at the bit to get with the guys to work to get better."