Remi Drouin, Sports Reporter
The defending provincial and national champions gave Jeff Gibbs his first win by winning its first home opener of the season 1-0 against the George Brown Huskies.
It was supposed to be a doubleheader game but game two was cut short due to inclement weather.
With that first game, Hawks head coach Gibbs, succeeded Matt Ferreira, who was responsible for building the championship-winning staff, that included his replacement.
Gibbs was hired as an assistant coach in 2016. When the head coach job was offered, he said accepting the post “was kind of a no-brainer.”
He feels he was put in a good situation and praises the support and dependability he receives from the Athletics Department, his coaching staff and the players.
In game one, the Hawks saw lights-out pitching from second-year right-hander Braden Taylor. He lasted six and a third innings while surrendering four hits and recording five strikeouts.
Infielder Aidan Murphy drove in a run on a single in the bottom of the first inning, just enough offense to win the game.
“He knows the game really well,” said Justin Marra, a Hawks assistant coach. “He’s played a high level of baseball and has a great understanding of the game.”
Gibbs played for Canada’s national team before being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 48th round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft.
He chose to attend the University of Maine and was drafted again in 2012 by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the ninth round.
“Jeff is perfect for the leadership role as the head coach,” said Ray Chateau, director of Athletics.
He has confidence in the coaching staff’s ability to lead the players through meaningful games down the stretch.
“When you have the kind of staff we have, the players buy in. They set a tone, a level of professionalism and respect for the game,” Chateau said.
Gibbs values having positive relationships with his players. He said strong communications with his players will take precedence over anything else.
“I could know everything about the game but if I can’t communicate that with them, or if they don’t trust me, then it’s all for nothing,” Gibbs said.
He set a high bar in what he considers a successful first season:
“I think anything less than a national championship is an unsuccessful season.”