« Back to 2016 News Archives
Anglers bullpen coach Geoff Phillips watched from the third-base dugout at Fitton Field in nearby Worcester, Mass. as his team celebrated winning a championship on June 18. As dozens of royal blue jerseys dog piled near the pitchers mound, Phillips looked on with immense pride.
At first glance, it would be easy to confuse the Chatham Anglers with St. John Paul II – the high school team that Phillips coaches – as the Lions hoisted the Division 4 State Championship looking eerily similar to Chatham in their blue away jerseys.
As an assistant coach for the team, Phillips helped lead the Lions to their third consecutive state championship in his inaugural season at the Hyannis catholic school. St. John Paul II won the title by defeating Oxford High School, 8-7.
“My proudest moment was just watching the kids lift the trophy at the end of the year because I know how hard they worked in the offseason and throughout the year,” said Phillips. “Watching all the hard work they put in come to fruition and just watching them raise that trophy, that meant a lot to me.”
The Chatham bullpen coach wears many hats at St. John Paul II, as Phillips’ assistant coach duties include working with the team’s catchers and coaching first base. The role is a similar one for Phillips as he held the same responsibilities – among many others – under John Schiffner when the two coached at nearby Nauset High School.
In the Cape Cod Baseball League, numerous players sharpen their skills and hone in on the parts of their games they want to improve. The same goes for coaching, as Phillips detailed how being a part of the Chatham Anglers coaching staff has given him a greater wealth of baseball knowledge than he ever could have gained elsewhere.
“It’s helped me grow immensely, especially being with all these other coaches and learning a lot more about the game being around them,” said Phillips. “You can pick their brains and learn different things, and different philosophies. . . .I’ve learned a lot more about the game of baseball and ways to go about things.”
Phillips has had years of coaching experience at the high school level. Before his time at St. John Paul II, Phillips had a six year stint at Nauset High School, including the last two with Schiffner. Prior to that, Phillips coached his alma mater, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School – where Phillips played baseball, football, and hockey. The current Chatham Police Officer also spent time coaching at Chatham High School before it merged with Harwich to become Monomoy Regional.
In his coaching career, Phillips has seen a number of baseball players across different age groups, but cites one commonality that binds them all together.
“Just the love for the game, essentially,” said Phillips. “I’ve been pretty blessed with the high schools I’ve been at. There are a lot of baseball-oriented kids who just love the game; a lot of them play year round and just have the dedication to being better.”
After a successful spring on the diamond for his Lions squad, Phillips is looking to add a second championship to his 2016 résumé, this time with the Chatham Anglers.