WATERTOWN, NY - The Watertown Rapids kick off 2022 with multiple announcements regarding their team, roster, and game experience staff. The Rapids, set to play their fourth season in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League this summer, announced their new head coach and coaching staff at the Watertown Municipal Arena Wednesday night. The Rapids also confirmed the new role of Fan Experience Specialist and announced two returning players for 2022.
Beaver River High School’s head baseball coach Mike Kogut was announced as the new head coach of the Rapids for 2022. Kogut, proceeded to introduce his assistant coaching staff of Riley Moonan, head baseball coach of Watertown High School and Dan Myers, owner of Double Play Community Center in Lowville, NY and baseball coach.
The Rapids confirmed Jay Matteson as the organization's new Fan Experience Specialist, or “The FEZ” for short. Matteson’s vision for the entertainment and community engagement of the Rapids will ensure that all Rapids experiences are fun, engaging, and always fresh. Matteson bonded with the crowds of 2021 as the Director of Fun and in-house emcee during Rapids games. Matteson will build upon his showmanship while bringing new partners to the table to provide unforgettable experiences for all.
The Rapids concluded by announcing the first two players of the 2022 roster. Both competed for the Rapids in 2021. Ryan Peters, Chaumont native and SUNY Brockport pitcher will return for a second campaign. Brett Myers, the Lowville native infielder and new Oswego State commit will also compete for a second campaign with the Rapids.
The introduction of the coaching staff, the FEZ, and returning players marks a shift in the culture surrounding the Rapids. General Manager Nick Czerow remarked “We feel this is the strongest staff we have had in the existence of the Rapids, especially with the commitment of three coaches in the area that want to help develop this and have a vested interest.” The Rapids hoped to find local coaches to help build sustained success through the years and effect north country baseball on a youth and scholastic level.
Matteson shared what The Duff means to him as northern New York’s field of dreams “ It’s a dream for a whole lot of little kids across northern New York to come here and play. Now my son, and myself are a part of a bigger dream. We have these two college players and a whole bunch of others waiting out there around the country that are going to come here and pursue their dreams this summer and that is exciting!”
Matteson affirmed “This season will be so much better.” and finished with his trademark “Let’s Go Rapids!” and a teaser for NFL involvement in the season.
Kogut started by stating he called a shortlist of people he knew would create a strong staff. After he found his men, Moonan and Myers he knew “Once they were on board I knew we had exactly what we needed to make the 2022 season successful and to help grow baseball in the North Country and to develop our youth organizations as well as provide the experience for our players and our community.”
Kogut and staff addressed their three main goals for the 2022 season “first, have a successful season with the team and also for our players to succeed individually.” Second, “our players to develop their skills and go back to their home schools with more talent.” Third, “we want our community to be involved so that the Rapids are a fun experience every summer.”
New Assistant Coach Moonan, who previously played in the PGCBL said “summer baseball is essentially to keep these guys loose for their college season but it would be nice to win some games and get a Perfect Game championship.”
Myers, new Assistant Coach knows the importance of the PGCBL as his son Brett will be returning to the Rapids for 2022. “The Perfect Game League is a perfect opportunity for those past little leaguers who really aspire to be big leaguers to play in this pre-draft program.”
Peters, returning starting pitcher, is excited to show what the team has, “to have this opportunity to play here in my hometown in front of all the fans in Watertown is a blessing. I’m really excited to see what our team can do this year.”
Myers, is looking forward to working with this year’s coaching staff, “with their experience it makes it more fun for the players to come in and work and try to win games.”
The Rapids, soon to release the season schedule and more player signings are looking forward to showcasing their new product on the field for the North Country. Play will begin in June at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.
Follow the Watertown Rapids on all social platforms for more information and season updates. Call (315) 836-1545 for information on tickets and partnerships.