Federico makes triumphant return
GLAD TO BE BACK Meridian Community College head baseball coach Mike Federico has made his return back to the National Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, Colo. Federico was an assistant to Coach Scott Berry's 2000 series team. This time, he returns as the MCC head coach leading the Eagles to a 39-17 record.Photo by Tony Krausz/The Meridian Star
By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
May 23, 2003
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Michael Federico's second trip to the Junior College World Series is very different from his first trip.
The second-year Meridian Community College head baseball coach,who led his team to a 39-17 record this season, has a lot more to do this time around.
Though he has more duties with the team, those around Federico said he wouldn't want to be anywhere else at this time of year.
MCC's arrival to the 2003 Alpine Bank Junior College World Series is also a validation for the coach.
Up until last season, every graduating class had been able to make the trip to Suplizio Field, the site of the World Series.
Not being able to bring the 2002 sophomore class to Colorado was disappointing for the coach.
It's great to know we are starting something new. We have talked about starting a new winning tradition a lot this year."
The Eagles skipper's first trip to Colorado was in 2000. He was an assistant coach, working mainly with the pitchers.
Federico remembers his first trip to the site of the national title tournament as being filled with new experiences.
The journey three years ago to Colorado also instilled in the coach a strong desire to return.
Federico said one of the reasons he wanted to work at MCC was to be able to coach at the highest level of where he was coaching.
He joined the Eagles program in 1999 under Scott Berry, and he was well versed in tradition of MCC playing in the final Division I junior college
baseball tournament of the year.
Federico said brining his own team to the series is a great way to honor the previous coaches that started the winning tradition at MCC.
The Eagles made five World Series appearances in a seven-year span starting in 1993, under now Southern Miss head baseball coach Corky Palmer.
MCC earned berths to the 10-team tournament in 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000. The team's best finish was in 1996 when it came in second.
The coach's knowledge from the two previous Eagles skippers and his first trip the World Series have been valuable for the latest trip. Federico is able to put his players minds at ease about the thinner air in Colorado.
While the ball does travel a little farther, Grand Junction, Colo., is not as high as other parts of the state.
He is also able to help prepare his team for a different kind of playing surface, and he can tell them what the atmosphere at the games will be like.
will be hard to adjust to is the people in the stands.
As happy as Federico is to return to Grand Junction, Colo., he is quick to point out what has brought him to the tournament.
MCC begins its quest for the program's first national baseball title at 8:30 p.m. Sunday against the No. 19-ranked Walter State (Tenn.) Community College Senators (49-11).