Huskies baseball coach notches 300th win


Solomon Gustavo photo • St. Anthony Village High School baseball coach Troy Urdahl recorded his 300th career win at Palm Field May 31, when the Huskies beat St. Paul Como Park 10-0.

Solomon Gustavo photo • Parents of St. Anthony Village High School baseball players held a barbeque for graduating seniors May 31.

On a picturesque day at St. Anthony Village High School’s Palm Field, the weather finally delivered summer heat like a rusty pitcher, and the only clouds in the blue sky were fluffy, and the varsity baseball team beat St. Paul Como Park 10-0.

The May 31 Huskies win improved the team’s season record to 18-3, and marked coach Troy Urdahl’s 300th win. 

Hanging in the dugout between games — the Huskies had a doubleheader that day — Urdahl was picking up equipment and talking with assistants as players warmed up. 

With any mention of his 300-win accomplishment, which he racked up in 17 years at the blistering pace of an average of 17 wins a year, Urdahl lauded his players. 

Asked directly what it took to win consistently for nearly two decades, Urdahl said its because of “a lot of good baseball players,” attributing the sustained success to “fantastic assistants” and a “fantastic youth program.”

“The kids do all the work,” said assistant coach Eric Brever, though he pointed out the players being ready to perform is a “real credit” to Urdahl’s work ethic, planning and energy. 

Assistant Bryan McCarthy said he and Urdahl “go way back,” a history that includes the two coaching against each other. 

“I was on the losing end of three of the 300,” said McCarthy.

With direct knowledge of what it’s like to face and then work with Urdahl, and other baseball organizations, McCarthy said Urdahl has installed a uniquely sturdy winning culture. 

“In my travels,” said McCarthy, “it’s massively impressive what he’s built.” McCarthy particularly honed in on Urdahl’s coaching consistency. “It’s a grind ... there are not a lot of guys with year-in, year-out culture.”

The coaches continued to conference in the middle of the doubleheader as the players, first warming up in a big single group, broke apart and spread across the field to run drills. 

“It’s been great, really fun,” said senior Sullivan Jahnke of his four years playing for Urdahl. Jahnke, a pitcher and infielder, said he thinks its “crazy” how long Urdahl has been raking up nearly 20 wins a year, and that he thinks he still looks really young. 

Senior outfielder Nick Zezulka said he’s proud of his coach’s achievement, and that he appreciates the way Urdahl coaches and his positive attitude. 

“I also think he looks pretty good,” Zezulka joked.  

Most of the players and coaches eventually moseyed up to the parking lot, where parents were holding a barbeque for graduating seniors. 

Mike Fredrikson’s son, Nick, is a senior pitcher and center fielder. Fredrikson said Urdahl has constructed the team with a stable of strong arms, which bodes well for a deep playoff run. 

Said David Lehner-Smith, whose son Aaron is a shortstop, on Urdahl reaching 300: “Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”

 

— Solomon Gustavo

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here