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S.W. Florida Daily News


Charlie Maurer, Barron Collier High School baseball

By J. Scott Butherus of the Naples Daily News

Barron Collier High School baseball coach Charles Maurer admitted that, on paper, this year’s Cougars team wasn’t the most talented group he has had during his four-year tenure.

But after a rocky start to a season which saw the team hover around the .500 mark through the first half of the season, the Cougars rallied to win the next 11 of their last 13 games behind its coach to become the last team standing from Collier County before falling 12-2 to Lynn Haven’s Mosley High in a Class 6A state semifinal game at JetBlue Park.

“If you were to interview me at the beginning of the season and told me that we would make it to the Final Four, I would told you that you were out of your mind,” Maurer said. “That to me is a testament to the kids because they believed it. They bought into it.”

It was the team-first mentality and emphasis on fundamentals, which have been Maurer’s hallmark as a coach, that helped spur the Cougars’ resurgence. For this, Maurer has been named the Naples Daily News Coach of the Year for the spring athletic season.

Under Maurer’s guidance, the Cougars became something like a family which helped each other weather some of the down points to the season.

“I think that is something a lot of people don’t realize that, for eight months of the year, I see them more than their parents,” Maurer said. “That is why there is so much emotion after the games. … You get attached. There is something wrong if you don’t.”

Under Maurer, the Cougars (20-10) won the fourth regional title in program history. It was the best season for a Barron Collier baseball team since 2006 when Maurer was a sophomore catcher for the team and the closest the Cougars had been to a state finals appearance since winning it all in 1997.

“It was special because this is the first group that I had for all four years come through,” Maurer said. “The legacy they left behind is unbelievable.”

“I know I’m going to talk to him every day for the rest of my life,” Cougars catcher Marc Coffers said. “I can’t thank him enough for all things he has taught me. The little things like how to come to the field on time with all your stuff and not just baseball, but life. Like how to mature and get me ready for the next step.”

About J. Scott Butherus

Multimedia journalist J. Scott Butherus is an award-winning sports writer and videographer and slightly above-mediocre photographer who covers spring training for the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox, the Fort Myers Miracle, outdoors and fishing, PrepZone, and Florida Gulf Coast University. In his spare time, he wrestles sharks and is a career .827 hitter for the company softball team.

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