GROSSE POINTE NORTH, Mich. – Baseball season is underway. And while It may be Kevin Shubnell’s first year as head coach of Grosse Pointe North’s varsity baseball team, he’s far from a newbie.
He’s been coaching sports since 2001.
And for a lot of these boys, baseball isn’t just a season, it’s a way of life. Our Kim DeGiulio went to Grosse Pointe Woods to find out what they love about the game.
“This community is a baseball community,” said Coach Shubnell. “This is a baseball hotbed, the little leagues, the summer travel teams.”
You can watch Kim’s 4Frenzy feature story in the video player above.
“It’s been an amazing experience,” said pitcher Bryan Carney, who grew up with a lot of his teammates.
Luke Babcock, the team’s catcher, has been playing with most of the same guys since he was in Little League.
“I’m expecting us to try to repeat what we did last year, and even possibly go further,” Babcock said.
Last spring, the team made a deep run in the state playoffs, and 10 of those players are back this season. Coach Shubnell says their success will be measured by how they come together as a team.
He’s hoping to build a culture that creates a sense of belonging and accountability.
Altogether, there are 16 students on the roster: six seniors, seven juniors and three sophomores. Drew Hill and Jake Tedesco were on the Prep Baseball Report pre-season All-State team, and Jordan Aresenau, Luke Babcock, Brennan Hill and James MacAuley were listed on the honorable mention list.
The coach said he loves catching up with kids years later to see what they are up to and reminisce about the past.
“The relationship and rapport with the kids is the greatest reward,” Shubnell said.
“It’s the same as in the classroom. The challenge is always managing the expectations and making sure you are doing everything you can to get the most out of everyone and create a positive sense of belonging for everyone on the team. I love that challenge,” said Shubnell, who’s also in his third year teaching social studies at the school.
Coach Shubnell’s Favorite 4:
- Places in Metro Detroit: The Detroit Zoo, local restaurants and markets like Little Tony’s, Emily’s, Telly’s and Licavoli’s
- Sports: Football and baseball
- Sports Team: Detroit Tigers and Notre Dame football
- Fun: Anything with his family -- Wife: Katie; kids: Jack (8), Olivia (6), Joey (4) and Caroline (6 months)
Best of luck on your season Norsemen!