MASSENA Watching his nephew play a high school baseball game in Florida last year inspired Massena baseball coach Greg Paquin to come up with a creative uniform.
Paquins nephew played on a team whose colors were gray and white, and they wore a camouflage jersey, similar to what the San Diego Padres have won in Sunday Major League Baseball games in recent years.
Paquin, who was watching with his son Connor, a senior at Massena, turned to him and said, I wonder what that would look like in red, white and blue.
When it came time to order jerseys for this season the idea was still in Greg Paquins plans.
We asked the guys from Rawlings to design it and we are using the (pinwheel style) of the old Montreal Expos hat as well, Paquin said. Once you pair it with the (white) pants and hat, it kind of pops.
Joining Massena in the camouflage look this season is Brushton-Moira, but its coach, Missy Hastings-Lavigne, could not be reached for comment.
So far the Red Raiders are only planning on wearing the new jersey for home games. When the Red Raiders play on the road they will stick with the traditional gray jerseys they wore last year with the red caps that feature an M on the front.
Though the new jerseys could be considered a bit wild, Greg Paquin knew how his team would react the first time he showed them.
When I put the pants with them they were excited, Paquin said. Thats what is nice about coaching high school baseball, you see the kids get excited.
Early in the season there was one former Massena coach, Paquins father, Darrell, who had not seen the jerseys yet.
My biggest worry is when my dad sees it, Greg Paquin joked. Im not sure he will be sold on it. He didnt want to change (socks) from stirrups.
Paquin added that if the Red Raiders make it to the state Class A playoffs the jersey would likely be worn whether its a home or road game.
SECTION 10 CHANGES
The return of Cantons golf team is not the only change in that sport this season, which has also seen a new divisional alignment.
Canton had always been a Division I team before the program folded a few years ago, now the Golden Bears will compete in their return season in Division II.
Two teams that competed in Division II last year, Madrid-Waddington and Brushton-Moira, have opted to move up to Division I this season.
The current divisional alignment features Malone, Madrid-Waddington, Ogdensburg Free Academy, Massena, Gouverneur, Brushton-Moira and Potsdam in Division I and Tupper Lake, Heuvelton, Edwards-Knox, Salmon River, Clifton-Fine, Canton and Norwood-Norfolk in Division II.
Madrid-Waddington won its first match as a Division I team Monday, defeating Gouverneur 239-253. Brushton-Moira fell 221-255 to OFA in its debut. Canton went 0-1-1 in its return, losing 4-1 to Edwards-Knox and tying Heuvelton 2 1/2-2 1/2.
The other change in Section 10 comes next year, but will be a continuation of something that started this season. Because the East Division has nine schools in several sports, one of the Class C schools has moved to the Central Division for one sports season.
In 2014-15, St. Lawrence Central will compete in the Central Division in girls soccer, Brushton-Moira will be in the division for boys and girls basketball, and Tupper Lake will move for softball.
SEEDING MEETINGS CHANGED
Because of the number of rainouts this spring in baseball and softball, Section 3 has changed the seeding meeting for both sports from May 18 to May 21. It will be at 10 a.m. in the Section 3 conference center.
All teams that qualify for sectional competition should be prepared to play on May 22. Teams will be seeded by league record and games played.
IHC HALL OF FAME
The Immaculate Heart Central Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner is scheduled for May 28 at Savory Downtown.
This years honorees are: Pat Fernan (1995), Mike Derrigo (1967) and Neville Dowe. The 1970 varsity football team will also be honored.
Sportswriters John Day and Josh St.Croix contributed to this report.