It’s been a pleasure so far in Matt Shupper’s first season as Maranatha’s baseball coach.
Sure, some of it has to do with the success the Minutemen (12-7-1, 6-2 in Olympic League) are having, but from the time Shupper landed at Maranatha in the fall it’s all been smooth sailing.
Maranatha is coming off a split with Cerritos Valley Christian and earned a 7-6 victory that handed the Crusaders their first loss in league and stayed in the race for a league title. Maranatha has two home-and-home series left this season with Village Christian (9-9, 4-2) and L.A. Baptist (5-14, 1-7).
Shupper is hoping to build on the solid foundation laid out by Brian DeHaan, who resigned last summer after five seasons and led the Minutemen to a CIF-SS Division 5 title and a 93-52-2 career record. When the position opened up it was an attractive one because of the returning talent and potential. But it’s become evident there’s more to coaching at Maranatha.
“Coming to Maranatha has been a dream come true,” Shupper said. “I love working with these kids. The experience has been great, the administration, the parents, the support.”
Shupper previously coached at the high school level, but it’s a high comfort level he feels at Maranatha that’s made it an easy transition.
“When you feel like you can go out there and be yourself, that’s always great,” he said. “They hired me based on who I’ve been. I don’t have to be someone I’m not. I love going to work where the parents are at the game and always looking for a way to help the team. It’s such a family environment.”
Shupper couldn’t have asked for better senior leadership from twins Josh and Ryan Marrs. Josh is batting a team-high .463 with 13 RBIs and two home runs. Ryan is batting .355 with 10 RBIs.