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Exclusive Interview: Chesapeake, VA Manager Larry Bowles (Part 1)

We're honored to present another exclusive interview to the site for your reading pleasure.  Larry Bowles, head coach of the 2010 Mid-Atlantic Regional champion Chesapeake, Virginia has been gracious enough to take some time to do an extensive interview about a plethora of topics related to his team. 

Chesapeake, Virginia swept through the Mid-Atlantic National Regional being hosted in West Lawn, PA.  They defeated Brooklawn, New Jersey in game fourteen to secure their bid to the 2010 ALB World Series in Spokane, Washington.  The team had a bit of a rough go at it on the West Coast, going 0-2 in the tournament.

The interview is quite lengthy, so we'll present it over the next couple of days in three different parts.  We hope you enjoy the truly unique content that we've been able to write in recent weeks.  As always, if you'd like to share a comment or question please don't hesitate to post a comment or email us at  Thanks and enjoy!

Interview Part 1


What was your outlook for the season back in the early summer? When did you start getting the feeling that you could potentially make a run at the state and regional titles?

Coach Bowles:

When we formed our team, it was originally about me being able to coach many of the Indian River High School players for one more summer.  I was the Junior Varsity baseball coach at IRHS from 2003-2009, then was hired as Head Varsity Baseball Coach at Oscar Smith High (neighboring school) in October 2010.  I decided to put the best from each school togther, then Dean Ali (will be rooming with Cody Cox at Old Dominion U.) mention bringing Cody in with the team.  Once we finalized the roster, I knew that our goal would be to win a State Championship.  We talked about how great it's be to travel to PA and WA... but no one REALLY believed it at the time.  When we got to the Regional, I honestly knew nothing about the competition or the level of play compared to the VA State Tournament, which had some great teams.  The first day there, and every day that followed, it was on a shirt, published or announced that the Brooklawn program had all of those State & Regional titles, so I knew that facing them would be a challenge.


When you looked at the talent on your team, did you set lofty expectations (like 'hey we could make it to the World Series this year'), or it was just a wait and see how things go type of situation?

Coach Bowles:

I told the guys from the very beginning of the season about how Legion covers costs to travel and play in Danville, VA, Westlawn, PA, and Spokane, WA.  When we were on the way to Spokane a couple of the players said, coach, we heard you talk about possibly flying to Spokane this year and we all acted like we were right there with you, but inside, we were like, yeah right... but now we're headed to Spokane!  This is crazy!


What were some of the keys to your team's success?  It wasn't just great coaching on your part was it?

Coach Bowles:

Obviously it was great coaching.  Seriously, the greatest statistic I threw out to the team and other people after the regional was that in our 11-game winning streak through States & Regionals, Cody Cox (who everyone wanted to talk about due to his 90+ fast ball and being drafted by the Chicago Cubs) did not win one game for us.  Dean Ali came up big, but he has the accolades such as District Player of the Year & 2nd Tam All-State for pitching.  We had guys who had not yet been recognized like Jordan Adair, Troy Applin, James Bedi & Josh Carter come up HUGE on the mound for us.  Applin was phenomenal in States, winning 2 games and earnind 2 saves in his 4 appearances.  Adair pitched us to a win in our State Championship, Regional Championship, and gave us a great chamce to win the Oregon game in the World Series.  At the plate, Matt Dickason, Josh Carter, Leland Clemmons, and Dean Ali carried us.  Dickason was out of his mind this postseason and finished the regional and World Series batting .667 (18-for-24) and hit 2 homeruns in the Oregon game.  Carter batted over .500 this postseason and Clemmons hit 3 homeruns.  Ali had some monster games and clutch hits as well to propel us to Spokane.  Our pitching and the offense these guys provided were the keys to all of our success.


Your team was just one of two that had an undefeated run through national regionals this year.  How did you feel the competition stacked up against your team, and how did you go about game planning for teams you've never seen before?

Coach Bowles:

Well, I am a researcher.  I scoured the internet for as much information as possible on the teams involved.  I knew we were starting off with the host team.  When I looked up their season I read that they did not win their district or region tournaments and were around .500 for the summer.  I knew, with the setup for the National Regional, we'd have to win 5 games.  I figured that if I could get through game 1 without using Cox or Ali, then we'd be in great position to go through the winners bracket and into the championship game.  I also told my team before we played that there was a kid for West Lawn named Chris Gehris who would probably be pitching and batting third for them... I was right... and he deserved to be in both spots.  Gehris, and his entire team played even better than I had expected.  That group really impressed me with their discipline and desire to win.  That first game was very rough... and luckily we were able to pull it out.  I was able to research enough to know who each team's ace was and what side they threw from, but that doesn't tell you how hard they throw or what kind of stuff they have.  It was tough to gameplan, but there were a few things we did, that I can't divulge of course, haha, that truly paid off in the end.


How was the experience of playing at Owls Field?  It is considered one of the amateur baseball gems that southeastern PA is known for.  How did your team handle the pressures of playing in front of relatively large crowds, and did your fan base travel well up to the tournament?

Coach Bowles:

Owl's Field was truly impressive.  I was most impressed with the volunteers and the organization of those committed to making that Park so great.  To have so many people step up to help out with all of the things that go into hosting a tournament is awesome to witness.  The field setting is awesome and the Owl's organization is top-notch.  We had quite a few friends and family make the trek up the east coast and they remarked at how nice the facilities were as well.  As far as the players, many had played in Regional and State Tournaments with hundreds in the crowd, so I don't know how much it affected them.

Parts two and three will be posted over the next few days.  Thanks for reading, we've hope you enjoyed the first segment of the interview!


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