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American Legion


Among the teams in the American Legion program Bristol has one, Post 2. This team has been coached by Attorney Jim Ziogas for the past 7 years. He has learned that good talent and good kids make a champion team. He only keeps kids with a good attitude and heart because if you have unruly kids you will end up with disharmony. He teaches kids to strive for individual goals like batting an above .500 average and hitting homeruns or stealing the most bases. Also telling his kids to keep team goals in mind like playing hard everyday and giving your all at practices, he also looks for the long-term goal of his players playing college baseball. While playing college baseball you get to travel a lot, meet other people and see other schools. Having his kids reach this long-term goal is what he thinks to be the most rewarding and important part of his job as a coach.

Another amazing goal, every coaches dream if you will, was when they went to the World Series in South Dakota in 1997. While they were there they were treated like they were in the Major Leagues. There were sponsors that met them at the gate. For example, the Elks Club was the Bristol Post 2 sponsor which basically adopted you when you got out there giving you anything and everything that you needed. Also, while playing there, there were 7 umpires to ump the game which is an unusual amount of umpires for a youth baseball game.

There was only one bad incident while they were out there and that was when the director would not let team manager Doc Gilhuly sit in the dugout with the team. The director said that you can only stay in the dugout if you are in uniform but Doc, being about 70 years old, never wore a uniform. The kids went up and had a talk with the director, persuading him to let the Doc stay with the team. "If it came down to the kids playing or not, they probably would have chosen not too," said Atty. Ziogas.

The coach had different favorites every year of his coaching. His son, of course, always being his favorite at heart, Mike Rose for making outstanding catches throughout the year, including an amazing diving catch in South Dakota, and Mike Kulak for always having the biggest heart for the game and always making the best of every situation, doing the best he can (Which was really amazing). (Mike Kulak went on to play college baseball at the University of Massachusetts, starting in left field as a freshman and having an incredible amount of talent which he will hopefully someday share with the Major Leagues.)

He had some inspiring last words that he has taught his players and told me, that I will now tell you. "There is no easy way. If you want to be successful your going to pay a price for it."

By: Greg