Niagara Gazette — The New York Collegiate Baseball League regular season lasts just under two months. With the way the Niagara Power's season finished, their promising start to the 2013 season may feel like an eternity ago.
It certainly proved to be a test for the Power's players and coaching staff alike. Just one year before, they were competing for the NYCBL championship. This year, they're looking back on a season that started with promise but quickly went south, ending with a last place finish.
"Last summer everything seemed very easy because we won," said head coach Josh Rebandt. "We won our division, we made it to the league championship and everything just seemed to come easy."
At the start of June it seemed it good fortune might again come with ease. In three preseason exhibition games, the Power went 3-0 and outscored their opponents by a total of 23-7. After two consecutive rain delays, the Power finally began their regular season on June 8 with a 6-3 win at home over the Rochester Ridgemen, then went on to win five of their first six games.
Then it all turned.
The team went 2-4 in their next six games. After a 12-7 win at home against the Geneva Red Wings on June 21, the team would not taste victory again until July 5, when their 6-3 win over the Olean Oilers ended an eight-game losing streak.
"The first thing I told the guys in the first week (of the season), I said 'the horse is made ready for battle but victory rests with the Lord Himself," said Rebandt, quoting from the Book of Proverbs in the Bible. "I still hold true to that. I think that there were certain things that, even though we lost, we still knew that God was in control."
The Power, as an affiliate of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, looked to character tests as part of their players' overall development. There were several game situations throughout the season, Rebandt admitted, when individuals were being put to character tests.