Legere’s Top Priority for KP Nine — Deep Playoff Run
A Hockomock League all-star, Shawn Legere will play shortstop and provide leadership in his role as a KP captain.
By Ken Hamwey
Staff Sports Writer
Shawn Legere is serious about a variety of things.
Take academics. The King Philip senior has a 4.6 GPA, is a two-time National Honor Society student, and he’s interested in studying mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt, Miami or the University of Virginia.
The 18-year-old Wrentham native is also serious about baseball. Very serious.
The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Legere plays shortstop and he’s the Warriors’ captain. Last year, his .373 batting average, .484 on-base percentage and his smooth fielding earned him all-star recognition in the Hockomock League.
When it comes to setting goals, Legere is both serious and focused — his objectives are all team-oriented.
“We want to have a winning record and upset some of the strong teams on our schedule,’’ he said. “But, the top priority is to qualify for the tourney and make a deep run. The key will be to stay healthy and rise to the occasion. We’ve got depth and experience. And, if we get some luck along the way, we’ll achieve more than just making a cameo appearance. It’s all about building momentum and getting on a roll.’’
When Legere was a sophomore, there were no playoffs because spring sports were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a junior last year, KP, which finished with a 7-7 record, downed Quincy in the playoffs but was eliminated in the next round by Xaverian. “I’m confident about our tourney prospects,’’ he emphasized. “We’ve got young talent that can impact our squad and our team chemistry is excellent.’’
KP coach Jeff Plympton will be counting heavily on Legere, both in the field and at the plate.
“Shawn brings lots of energy day-in and day out,’’ Plympton offered. “He demands excellence of himself, he gives 100 percent all the time, he’s never afraid to speak up and he hates to lose. He’s got quick hands and great range at shortstop. A contact hitter who also has power, Shawn rarely strikes out.’’
Legere relies on assets that win games. He’s quick and he’s got speed, especially on the basepaths. And, he takes pride in a high baseball IQ that leads to instinctive decision-making.
“I like the challenges at shortstop,’’ he said. “There are lots of different plays to turn. I like going over the middle and making a force-out with a flip to second base. The toughest play at shortstop is going deep in the hole, pivoting, then making a back-handed throw. Being aggressive is the key. It’s about charging the ball.’’
Confidence is an attribute that helps Legere on offense. “I hit hard and often go for the first pitch,’’ he noted. “I don’t strike out much because I’m patient and selective. The key is to have a good mental approach.’’
Legere had a fantastic approach in a victory last year against Stoughton. “It was senior night,’’ he recalled. “I made three infield plays in the first inning and later hit a home run. It was a memorable triumph. Our playoff win over Quincy was also thrilling. I got two hits and was pleased with my contributions.’’
Legere, who’s played club baseball for five years, intends to be a captain who’ll lead by example and by being vocal. “I’ll work hard and when we’re trailing, I’ll strive to get my teammates upbeat and involved,’’ he said. “Being supportive and encouraging is also important.’’
Two teammates Legere admires for their competitive ability are junior pitcher Rudy Gately and senior centerfielder Eli Reed. “Rudy throws strikes and has great control,’’ Legere said. “He’s very consistent. Eli is a hard-worker and a good teammate who’s got passion for baseball.’’
Plympton also gets high marks from Legere. “Coach Plympton is a terrific motivator,’’ Legere noted. “He holds us accountable. He’s also solid with his strategy and insights. He’s not super vocal but he’s effective at making his point.’’
Relying on a competitive philosophy that focuses on winning, Legere believes that “reaching one’s potential leads to winning and winning creates fun.’’ He enjoys being in an environment where everyone shares common goals.
“There’s valuable life lessons that sports teach and for me I’ve been able to improve my work ethic and to sharpen and develop leadership skills,’’ he said. “Baseball also helps with developing mental toughness. If a player is mentally tough, then he’ll be resilient.’’
A very resilient player that Legere calls “my favorite pro,’’ is former New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter. “He was so consistent and had a great desire to win,’’ Legere said. “He also was a quality role model on and off the field.’’
Calling his parents (Jason and Karen) his role models for their support and encouragement, Legere notes that his father often provides tips and advice.
In his role as a captain, Legere will be fully committed to provide beneficial advice and offer support when the need arises.
Serious about academics and KP baseball, Legere shouldn’t have many concerns about his leadership style. His work ethic is off the charts and no doubt will be contagious.
Shawn Legere has all the attributes that should help the Warriors’ baseball team experience an enjoyable season.