Longtime Coach, Lifelong Friend

Spotlight on Coach Steve Perakslis

Brady Cristoforo, a junior at Abington High (left) and head coach Steve Perakslis (right) have a conversation on third base on June 17, 2019 in a showdown against St. John Paul at Braintree High School.

Brady Cristoforo, Contributor

Abington Baseball is a traditional Green Wave sport. There are many people behind the success that this team creates year after year, such as head coach Steve Perakslis and his assistant coaches Tyler Perakslis, AHS Class of 2013 and Jim Donahue, AHS Class of 1989.

Head coach Perakslis has been in his position for 20 years and before that for 15 years as a J.V. coach, all at Abington High School. He began as a coach in 1986. He has had a successful coaching career at Abington and it is only getting better. Last year in 2019, Perakslis coached the Green Wave team to the South Sectional finals, and in his head coaching career, Perakslis has missed the MIAA state tournament only twice and has made the State Tournament 17 times.

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Coaching at the school I attended is pretty special.

— Steve Perakslis, Class of 1981

Before coaching for Abington, Perakslis attended the High School, graduating in 1981. “I enjoy coaching at Abington for many reasons. One is that it keeps me close to the game I loved to play and watch. Also watching my players improve and develop is the greatest reward I could ask for. Coaching at the school I attended is pretty special,” he said.

Perakslis is the true back bone to Abington Baseball. He eats, sleeps, and breathes baseball. When he is not coaching at Abington, he is teaching the little ones to play at his annual baseball camp called X-tra Inning Baseball School located down at the Beaver Brook softball fields. There he creates his future prospects. He has witnessed almost every one of his players grow from being six years old all the way up to their last game of their senior year in high school.

Being with young baseball prospects from the time they are six years old to them being eighteen, Perakslis is a big role model to his players. Senior Sean Landers, left fielder on the team, said, “Coach P is a great guy and a great coach to play for. He has taught me a lot about the game of baseball throughout my career. It was a privilege to play for one of the best.”

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I feel bad for all the spring athletes that won’t get to compete this year, especially the seniors who have worked so hard for their last season of high school baseball.

— Coach Steve Perakslis

Senior Colby Augusta, center fielder for the Green Wave, said that Coach P has had an impact on his baseball career. Augusta said, “It has been a pleasure to play under Coach P for these past four years. From teaching me the basics of baseball in baseball camp back when I was six years old, to coaching to a South finals appearance this past season, Coach P has taught me so much about baseball and even life.”

Coach P has a great relationship with his players. Some would even say that they are his “kids” as he is with them since they are young. Many have a very emotional relationship with Coach P and they love to see him happy, such as senior Ricky Reissfelder, the star pitcher. Reissfelder said, “Seeing Coach’s reaction after beating Cohasset in a nerve-wracking game was an ecstatic feeling for me, as I love to see him so happy and proud of his players.”

But with no school since March 12 due to the coronavirus, it means no baseball. And that the seniors last game already happened. But it is out of the teams’ hands and there is nothing anyone can do besides follow the instructive guidelines and pray.

Perakslis was hoping for two months with his seniors. But that will not happen. He is trying to stay positive. He said, “With no vaccine to keep people safe, I agree with the governor and the MIAA in their decision to cancel spring sports this season. I feel bad for all the spring athletes that won’t get to compete this year, especially the seniors who have worked so hard for their last season of high school baseball. The majority of them will never get to play competitively again, and that is a very sad way to end playing a game that they all loved.”

The seniors on the team have been through it all with Perakslis and they have experienced the team at its worst and at its best. Everyone stuck with Coach P and looked ahead, believing there was always light at the end of the tunnel.

Senior first baseman Johnny Hawkesworth said that he was “heartbroken, to say the least,” when the season ended abruptly. He said, “I wanted one more chance at it with some of my best friends that I’ve played ball with as long as I can remember. But, I can’t wait for my boys to kill it next year.”

NOTE: Brady Cristoforo is a member of the Green Wave Baseball team and a current junior.