Pictured during this summer's MIBL contest against Dedham, Medfield rising-junior shortstop Jack Goodman committed to play Division I baseball at Pepperdine this past week. Photo by Mike Flanagan.
By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
For obvious reasons, the recruiting process for high school athletes who intend to play a sport in college has been extremely different in 2020. The elimination of 2020 spring athletics due to COVID-19 made it extremely difficult for spring athletes to potentially get looks from schools.
After missing all but four games of his freshman year due to a fractured back, Medfield’s Jack Goodman was forced to go another full spring without baseball in 2020 due to COVID. The lack of a 2020 season stung even more for Goodman; the end of the season meant Jack missed out on one final opportunity to play varsity baseball alongside brother and role model Max, now a freshman baseball player at St. Joe’s (Maine).
Thankfully, the inception of the Massachusetts Independent Baseball League (MIBL) this summer allowed the Goodman brothers to suit up together one final time. With Max (second base) and Jack (shortstop) manning the middle of Medfield’s infield, the River Rats made a run all the way to the MIBL championship game. Along with playing for Medfield MIBL this summer, Jack Goodman also competed for his AAU travel team, Nokona.
“Playing with the Rats was great, I love that team,” said Goodman. “It was great to get to be able to play with my brother one final time.”
Following all the hard work Goodman put in on the baseball diamond throughout the summer, the rising junior announced some excellent news on August 16: his commitment to play Division I college baseball at Pepperdine University (California).
“It feels good,” said Goodman when asked how it felt to make his commitment. “It feels good for about a day. I took a day off and sat back, really appreciated it. But then it’s right back to work after that, because you have to work twice as hard now. So, it’s really all about staying on it. You have one chance to make the most of this opportunity.”
As far as his immediate future, Goodman says he and his teammates are turning their focus to the offseason and preparing for next spring. Goodman believes playing for Medfield MIBL this summer and the subsequent run that the team made into the postseason has allowed confidence to grow amongst their group for the spring of 2021.
“The expectations are definitely high,” said Goodman. “We’re losing a couple of really good players from our senior class, including our two best pitchers like Ryan [Donahue], Drew Baacke and some top-of-the-order bats like Max [Goodman], and that’s unfortunate. But, we also have a lot of talent coming back. There’s definitely a feeling amongst all the guys returning that this is going to be a really good opportunity to make a run. We’re all family and we are holding each other accountable, and we look forward to making some noise next year.”
For funny and insightful sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his own personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.