Baseball is BIG in Waterford. And with only two coaches in its history, coaching high school baseball has been a high profile job; a challenge the new coach is ready for.
"I look forward to a successful season and carrying on on what Coach Rousseau and Coach O'Keefe did with the program," said Art Peluso, who was named varsity coach Friday morning.
Peluso, who is also a special education teacher at the high school, has been the freshman and junior varsity baseball coach for 13 years. He is no stranger hearing about his players going on to win state championship titles.
"I think they made a great choice," said Jack O'Keefe, who coached the varsity team through four state victories before retiring this year.
Though some may say Peluso has big shoes to fill, he's not going to miss a beat. He said he's going to take a page from O'Keefe's coaching book and make sure the athletes are ready for the season.
"We'll start now, get the kids ready. Make sure they're eligible," he said about his immediate plans for the season, which officially begins March 14.
Peluso has never been a head coach before but after spending five to six days a week over the past 13 seasons with O'Keefe, he knows the ropes.
"Art knows the players and they know him. It will be an easy transition," said David Sousa, the athletic director.
Coaching, Peluso said, is always about the student athletes. And although the team has lost a successful coach and some talented players he is optimistic about this season.
"We have good talent coming back and the kids will be fine," he said. "They play hard, they take it seriously, they'll be great."