Bridgton Academy’s baseball program has won two of the last three NECBA championships, yet they will be facing competition outside of their usual schedule when baseball powerhouse IMG Academy makes the trip from Bradenton, Florida to North Bridgton, Maine. Bridgton will square off for three games against IMG’s postgraduate team this weekend, with the opening contest Friday afternoon followed by a Saturday doubleheader.
IMG Academy is recognized as one of the premiere athletic preparatory programs in the country, and the opportunity for Bridgton to test itself against the finest competition in the country was not one to be wasted by Head Baseball Coach Aaron Izaryk.
“We are always looking for the most elite competition for our guys and in turn, we are extremely excited to host IMG Academy for a three-game series. Coach Nolan Neiman and his staff do a tremendous job preparing their players for college baseball and having IMG in North Bridgton should prove to be a great opportunity for our players to compete with some of the best. A series of this magnitude should prove to bring alumni, prospective families and college coaches to our campus.”
Over the last decade, IMG Academy has had 21 student-athletes drafted by Major League Baseball, as well as sending students to colleges such as Boston College, Brown, Florida, Georgia Tech, Pepperdine, South Carolina, Stanford, Texas, Virginia and Wake Forest. The program boasts Postgraduate, Varsity, JV and Under-15 teams, with This is IMG Academy’s first trip this deep into New England, and marks the first series in what will hopefully become a longstanding rivalry.
The Wolverines come into the weekend with a 5-3-1 record, and Coach Izaryk looks to make the most of their first taste of national competition: “Being able to create a truly national schedule here at Bridgton will better prepare our players for the next level, and I am looking forward to continuing to work with IMG in the future.”
Bridgton Academy’s baseball program is a two-time NECBA champion (2012 and 2014), and has seen its graduates go onto successful collegiate careers at a number of Division I schools, including: Central Connecticut State University, Holy Cross, Manhattan College, Marist College, UMass and UMaine. Head Coach Aaron Izaryk, entering his sixth year as BA Head Baseball Coach, was named Manager of the Year in the NECBL for 2015.