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Friday, December 15, 2006

Verra named Holliston baseball coach


Keith Verra played high school baseball for the legendary John Carroll at Natick High. He guided Marian High to a Division 3 state title in 2003. A year later, he was in the dugout as as assistant coach in Hopkinton's drive to the Division 2 state crown.

Those credentials, along with his vision for what a high school athletic program should represent, impressed Holliston High School officials.

The 40-year-old Verra has been named the school's head baseball coach. He replaces Harvey Krupnick, whose contract was not renewed by school last summer after 34 seasons.

"We're very, very pleased," said Holliston athletic director Jim Carbonneau. "We had a number of quality applicants. But we settled on Keith and we think that he is going to be tremendous for Holliston."
Carbonneau pointed to Verra's track record of success, "his involvement with two state championship teams," and his vision for the program as a whole.

"He gave an excellent presentation, his expectations, how he expects the team to act, what he expects them to do, that academics come first. We share the same philosophy that everyone in the program is a role model, they represent the school, the community and the town. It's how you're perceived, whether you're wearing a Holliston High jacket in the summer, or swinging at a pitch in a game."

Verra's philosophy is simple.

"We want to build student-athletes, not just baseball players," said Verra, a guidance counselor at the Hopkinton Middle School. "It's really important to get teams involved in outside endeavors, beyond baseball."

But on the field, Verra is excited to be back in charge of his own program.

He guided Marian High for four seasons before moving over to Hopkinton to assist Steve Simoes for two seasons and Mark Stickney last spring. But he yearned to be a head coach again.

"I wanted to run a complete organization again, Holliston was right next door, it's in the Tri-Valley League [with Hopkinton], I explored it, it worked out and I'm very happy."

-- Craig Larson

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