One of the six Montgomery County players selected for the Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches 2014 Preseason All-State team, includes a senior rebounding from an injury.
It was about a year ago that Poolesville High School senior Robbie Metz suffered a torn meniscus that cost him most of his junior season.
After surgery and the arduous months of physical therapy and rehab that followed, the George Washington University recruit is eager to get his final high school season underway. Being selected to the All-State preseason team for the second straight year was an ideal early boost of confidence.
“It’s a great honor being selected for the All-State team,” Metz said. “It really means a lot to me knowing how much the baseball coaches think of what I can do on the field. After the surgery, the rehab went well. I think my knee is stronger than it ever was before. Now I want to put it to the test.”
Metz played basketball for the school as a freshman and sophomore before focusing his attention on baseball for his final two seasons.
“Those other players on the list, public and private, are really great players,” Metz said. “It’s really an honor just to be on that list. So many of those other players in Montgomery County that we face every year are really talented. They’re also really dedicated. I can’t wait to face Churchill, Sherwood and Gaithersburg this season. I really don’t have any personal goals. I just want to help lead the team to victories.”
Gaithersburg baseball coach Jeff Rabberman has two players on the list — Evan Colon and Nick DeCarlo — and he was also quick to compliment the other Montgomery County players on the list, including Metz. Rabberman’s Trojans are the early favorites to claim the Montgomery 4A West Region crown and Maryland Class 4A state title, but he was hardpressed to overlook the quality players on the list he will face this spring.
“Obviously, I can’t enough about my guys, Evan and Nick, who are both excellent ballplayers,” Rabberman said. “But I have always been really impressed with Robbie Metz. He’s a great player, a great kid and his parents are exceptional. I think Poolesville is going to be very good this year and having Robbie back at full strength is only going to make them that much tougher.”
Poolesville second-year coach Steve Orsini said he is looking forward to having Metz healthy for an entire season this spring. Not only will Metz be an integral part of the rotation, but he will also anchor the defense at shortstop when he is not on the mound.
“He’s the type of ballplayer that makes everyone on the team better,” said Orsini, who guided Poolesville to a 13-4 mark last season. “He usually gets to workouts an hour before everyone else and does a workout of his own. He just loves playing the game. He and our other three seniors, Chris Convers, Thayer Seely and Hunter Pearre, really changed the whole culture of the program when they arrived. Robbie is the leader of the team and the other players naturally follow his examples.”
Former Poolesville baseball coach Ted Gardiner, who went 48-43 during his five seasons at the helm, agreed with Orsini’s assessment that Metz represents the focal point of the program’s revival with the other three seniors also being vital. Metz, Convers (UMBC) and Pearre (Barton College) have already committed, while Seely, a left-hander pitcher, remains undecided.
“From the time that Robbie first stepped onto the field as a freshman, you knew he was going to be a starter on day one,” Gardiner said. “Whether it’s in practice or in a game, he plays every play like it’s for a championship. He was an obvious choice for preseason All-state. He just has that much desire and passion for the game. The two years that I coached him were really special and having Chris, Thayer and Hunter and the support of their parents, really changed the whole program.”