Thursday, September 24, 2020

Sports Person of the Week

Wettemann’s a Leader Behind the Dish

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Catcher Josh Wettemann was named a senior captain for the Guilford baseball team this year after garnering All-SCC Housatonic accolades in his junior campaign last year.

Photo courtesy of Josh Wettemann

Catcher Josh Wettemann was named a senior captain for the Guilford baseball team this year after garnering All-SCC Housatonic accolades in his junior campaign last year. (Photo courtesy of Josh Wettemann )

Josh Wettemann is the heart and soul of the Guilford High School baseball team. A senior captain catcher, Josh exemplifies hard work both on and off the field and has helped the Indians become a better club throughout his tenure with the program.

Josh first stepped on the diamond as a child after growing up watching his mother’s cousin coach for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod Baseball League. Josh started playing travel baseball at the AAU level with the Connecticut Grind when he was 11. He’s also played in the Dominican Republic on a couple of occasions.

“To improve my game, I train year-round,” says Josh. “We start the year with winter workouts with the Guilford team. We have 1 ½ hour practices every Saturday for 10 weeks. During this time, we also condition as a team twice a week in the weight room.”

All of that training has paid major dividends for Josh, who was one of the best hitters in the Indians’ lineup last spring. As a junior, Josh batted .348 to go with a .436 on-base percentage for Guilford, hitting two home runs and recording 18 RBI to lead the team in both categories. Josh was named to the All-SCC Housatonic Team and also made Connecticut Junior Select All-Star Team as a catcher.

Guilford finished the 2019 campaign with an overall record of 13-10. The Indians claimed a share of the Housatonic Division title, while qualifying for both the SCC Tournament and Class L State Tournament.

“I had the honor of playing in the Junior All-Star Game and also made the All-SCC Team. The Guilford team tied for the division title last year, and I’ve been very lucky with the opportunities given to me over the past four years,” Josh says. “Some of my best memories have been with my teammates both on and off the field.”

Josh has also formed strong bonds with his coaches during his career at Guilford. Josh credits his relationship with Head Coach Brian Hayden as one of the biggest factors behind his success.

“My relationship with Coach Hayden has been a great one,” says Josh. “We were on the same page throughout last year, from pitch calling to defensive tactics. We took our approach pitch by pitch and batter by batter. He really has encouraged me to be the best player and person I can possibly be both on and off the field.”

In turn, Coach Hayden gives Josh high praise for what he’s brought to the Guilford baseball program. Hayden appreciates the fact that Josh is so committed to the sport, even beyond the high school squad.

“Josh is a tremendous young man. He is so giving with his time. He is always willing to come and work at the Little League clinics and be a role model for younger baseball players in town,” Hayden says. “Josh has had such a positive impact on our program on and off the field. Josh was voted captain based on his work ethic and being a good teammate. He takes pride in being part of our program, and he will be sorely missed on the field and in the dugout.”

Josh enjoys many aspects of playing baseball. Above all, Josh embraces the responsibility that comes with putting on the gear and calling games from the catcher’s position.

“My favorite aspect of the game is being in control with everything behind the plate. I have to be on the same page with my pitchers, as well as relay everything from the coach to my teammates on the field,” Josh says. “Baseball is just as much a mental game as it is a physical game. A lot of catching is being prepared mentally, from knowing the bunt plays to reading the swing of the batter. You have to pay attention to every little detail.”

Josh is looking forward to the next phase of his playing days after he graduates from high school. Later this year, Josh will attend Southern Connecticut State University, where he will major in exercise science and compete for the school’s baseball team.

“I’m fortunate to be able to continue my baseball career there,” says Josh. “I am very excited to begin this next chapter.”


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