Benedictine Baseball has reached the Virginia Independent Schools state playoffs nine of the past 10 seasons and 12 times since 2000. The 2010 Cadets captured the school’s second VISAA State Championship, 10 years after its first. The 2011 team reached the state semifinals with a 22-6 mark, and the 2012 Cadets were state runners-up with a 23-8 record to cap a six-year run at 117-46, a winning percentage of .717. Last year’s team finished the regular season with a No. 3 state ranking.
The Cadets have thrived while regularly playing one of the most difficult schedules in Central Virginia.
Since 2000, Benedictine has had one player – Chad Williamson – selected in the Major League Draft and produced 13 Division I baseball players, including nine who played during the 2013 college baseball season. Many more have competed at the Division II, III and junior college level.
The Cadets’ recent success comes on the heels of decades of excellence. Since 1986, 39 Benedictine players have been named to All-Metro teams by The Richmond Times-Dispatch. Led by the likes of the legendary Warren Rutledge, Buster Lammay and Wes Hamner, players like Tracy Woodson, who earned a World Series ring as a member of the 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers, Tom Lukish, John Kuester, and the Harvey brothers built a baseball tradition.
It’s a tradition that today’s Cadets strive to uphold – and work to enhance.
2009-2010 State Baseball Champions
Benedictine is proud to count a World Series champion, an NBA Finals champ and a college football national champion among its baseball roster.
Tracy Woodson starred at North Carolina State before spending five seasons in the major leagues, belting a homer off Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan in his eighth career game. In 1988, Woodson played a key reserve role for the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers and can be seen bear-hugging a gimpy Kirk Gibson at home plate after Gibson stunned Oakland with a game-winning homer in Game 1 of the Series. “I get goose bumps every time,” Woodson said of watching the replays. “People can say what they want about Bill Mazeroski’s home run. There is no bigger home run. It was off the best reliever in baseball. He couldn’t walk. It won the game…it won the World Series for us.” Woodson spent eight seasons as a minor league coach before accepting the head coaching position at Valparaiso University in 2006. In July of 2013, Woodson was named head coach at the University of Richmond.
John Kuester starred in baseball but ended up playing for Dean Smith’s North Carolina Tar Heels for four years, helping UNC to four NCAA tournaments. He earned a NBA Finals ring as an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons in 2004 and spent two seasons as head coach of the Pistons.
And although Bobby Ross is more famous as a football coach – “Boss Ross” won a national title at Georgia Tech and led the San Diego Chargers to the Super Bowl – he also spent plenty of time on the baseball diamond.
Other Cadets who have excelled on the diamond after high school include:
Jordan Schmeer – Randolph-Macon College
Michael Childress – Potomac State College (W.Va.)
Adam Donohoe – Randolph-Macon College
David Geary – Virginia Military Institute
Travis Keating – Potomac State College (W.Va.)
Colton Konvicka – Longwood University
Shane Williams – Rappahannock Community College
Zach Matthews – Hampden-Sydney College
Matt Mullen – Roanoke College
Brooks Snead – Randolph-Macon College
Jake Wood – United States Merchant Marine Academy
Andrew Woods – Virginia Military Institute
RJ Barnes – Kansas City Kansas Community College
Chris Dyer – Davidson College
Kevin Buran – Charleston Southern University
Derek Bushey – East Tennessee State University
Mike Goldberg – Davidson College
Guy Hatch – Virginia Wesleyan College
Tucker Poole – Ferrum College
Will Swoope – University of Maryland; Louisburg Community College
Jake Broaddus – Roanoke College
Taylor Buran – University of Maryland; Pitt Community College; Virginia Commonwealth University
Will Pusey – The Apprentice School
Ryan West – College of Charleston
Davis Hewett – La Salle University
Joe White – University of Richmond
Chris King – Rappahannock Community College
Berkeley Leonard – Hampden-Sydney College
Matt McKenna – University of Richmond
Jayson Hanky – Hampden-Sydney College
Bryan Mangas – Hampden-Sydney College/Embry Riddle
Donnie Coleman – Randolph-Macon College
Jon Svanda – Wingate University
Josh Owens – Virginia Military Institute
Chad Williamson – Louisburg College (drafted by Chicago Cubs)
Richmond Times-Dispatch All-Metro (1986-2013)
2013 – Second team: Jordan Schmeer (C)
2012 – First team: Colton Konvicka (OF) – VIS Division I State Player of the Year
2011 – First team: Andrew Woods (UTIL); Second team: Zach Joseph (P)
2010 – First team: Zach Joseph (P)
2008 – First team: Kevin Buran (UTIL)
2007 – First team: Taylor Buran (UTIL); Second team: Kevin Buran (P/1B), Will Swoope (OF)
2006 - Second team: Taylor Buran (OF)
2004 - First team: Joe White (OF); Second team: Matt Seay (3B)
2003 - Second team: Berkeley Leonard (1B), Matt McKenna (SS)
2002 - First team: Nick Cornwell (2B)
2001 - First team: Jon Svanda (SS); Second team: Donnie Coleman (OF)
2000 (state champs) - First team: Chad Williamson (OF), Josh Owens (OF); Second team: Jon Svanda (SS)
1996 - Third team: Zach Harrison (OF)
1995 - Honorable mention: Bishop Boser (2B)
1994 - Second team: Everette Trice (Utility)
1992 - Honorable mention: Luke Puccinelli (1B), Pete Gambardella (3B), Brian Toland (SS)
1991 - Second team: Greg Hill (1B); Honorable mention: Brian Toland (3B), Vinnie Wright (P)
1990 - Second team: Greg Hill (1B); Honorable mention: David Owings (2B), Chris Cray (OF), Jeff Metcalfe (P)
1989 - Honorable mention: Reese Murdaugh (P)
1988 - Honorable mention: Shawn Fleischer (P)
1987 - Honorable mention: Robert Goodman (1B), Matt Puccinelli (SS), Matt Geary (3B)
1986 - Honorable mention: Robert Goodman (OF)