Northampton Press

Sunday, May 31, 2020
Photo by Mike Luberti Matt Durich, shown here in the Kids 5-3 opening win against Pocono Mt. East, wants to eventually coach. Photo by Mike Luberti Matt Durich, shown here in the Kids 5-3 opening win against Pocono Mt. East, wants to eventually coach.

Born to Teach Matt Durich destined to be a coach

Thursday, March 27, 2014 by JEFF MOELLER Special to the Press in Sports

Someday, Matt Durich would welcome the chance to coach baseball.

The vivacious Northampton senior is cherishing every moment this spring, and it is easy to see how his upbeat attitude and approach easily can transform him from student to teacher in the future.

"Oh, I would love to coach someday," gushed Durich, who will pursue middle education at Bloomsburg University next fall. "Definitely, coaching is in my future. I have grown up with baseball and I know the game will always be part of my life."

Durich, who was a Lehigh Valley Conference honorable mention designated hitter last season, is among a handful of seniors who believe they can take the K-Kids to the next level this spring.

Due to a late-season rush, Northampton finished with an overall 10-10 record, but the Kids were eliminated in the opening round of the district playoffs by Freedom on a walk-off homer in the final inning.

"We don't want to go out the way the seniors did last year," stated Durich. "That really hurt for them. But we have been working hard since the fall and we believe we can make things happen this year.

"It has been tough for us being inside most of the time, but everyone else is in the same situation. We're hoping all this work pays off for us. We got out on the field twice, and we'll have to move from there."

Head coach Mick Sugra appreciates his senior's sunny disposition.

"Matt has always been a hard worker and always has a positive, energetic outlook," he said. "He had a good season last year and we'll be counting on him to have another strong season for us."

Durich, who also will play first base this spring, made the adjustment to the position when junior varsity head coach Brian Ruff handed him a first baseman's mitt his freshman year.

"I used to play shortstop and did some catching," said Durich. "Coach Ruff suggested that I try first. I wanted to do whatever is best for the team. It was different at first. I had to realize all the possible game situations there could be. I also had to work on scooping balls out of the dirt and on line drives.

"At first, you really have to have a handle on what is going on all around you and all of the possibilities that could happen."

Along with his fielding, Durich has worked on his hitting and spent some time in the offseason honing his pitching skills as he will also work out of the bullpen for the Kids this season.

"I wanted to try and work on some specific things, but I'm always trying to work on my overall game," said Durich. "It is all about pitching, hitting, and fielding. As a player, I need to be as sharp as I can in every aspect.

"I really spent some time with my hitting. I realized what I could do last year, and now I need to take it to the next level."

His enthusiasm for the game can be credited to his father, Tom, who began working with him since the age of five. He also credited current assistant coach Terry Daubert as having a major influence on his baseball career.

Along with his love for baseball, Durich is an avid hunter and fisherman. He also spends quality time with his grandfather, Larry Heiney.

"I always like being outside," added Durich. "When I'm not playing baseball, I'm hunting and fishing. But I want to do whatever I can to help us have a good season."