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The way Tom Pinkerton looks at it, coaching is in his DNA and he bleeds the Blue and White of Ogdensburg Free Academy.

“I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t around the OFA athletic fields or in the gyms,” says Pinkerton, 43 who is now preparing for his first season as his alma mater’s varsity baseball coach.

A position that he appeared destined to hold.

He presides over a program which his father, the late Jim Pinkerton, elevated to one of the most successful in New York State in a coaching career which ended much too early when he passed away after an extended at-bat against cancer at age 48 in 1996.

At the time his death Jim Pinkerton, who also served as OFA’s Athletic Director, compiled a 316-148 baseball coaching record with 12 league and sectional titles and 10 appearances in the New York State Tournament highlighted by an appearance in the Class B championship game in 1993.

“I do a lot of the same things my father did in coaching but the most important aspect of my father’s teachings that I will continue is the development of young men. If I can positively impact half of the people he did, I will be doing a good job,” says Pinkerton who has devoted a lot of practice time working with a talented group of players in the batting cage.

“Over the years I have picked the brains of a lot coaches and picked up a lot of things by reading various articles. I try to absorb as much as I can.”

As youngsters Tom Pinkerton and his brothers Marc and Eric spent countless hours at the baseball field while their father directed practices and guided Blue Devil teams. In the winter months they shot baskets or played impromptu games in the gym while their mother, Patti Pinkerton Goodnow, coached OFA Cheerleading teams.

Tom Pinkerton became a varsity coach shortly after graduation from LeMoyne College in 1992 when he took over the helm of the OFA Girls Volleyball Program. He coached the Lady Devils through the 1995 season and also coached Women’s Volleyball at St. Lawrence University, SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton.

In 2004 Pinkerton became OFA’s junior varsity baseball coach when longtime coach Chuck Ladouceur, who paralleled his father’s success at the JV level, retired.

Pinkerton continued that success working closely with Mike Sargent who had succeeded Jim Pinkerton at the varsity level. A collaboration which featured year-round discussions at the John F. Kennedy Elementary School where the two taught in nearby classrooms.

The elementary school’s halls also produced countless coaching confabs which also included Ladouceur and longtime OFA soccer coaches Jim Howard and Kelley Geary.

When Sargent retired from the school system in June, Pinkerton moved into the varsity position in a natural family progression which also includes his wife Jackie who has coached the OFA Cheering squads for several years. His brother Marc will serve as an assistant coach along with Owen Luckie. Larry Mehaffy and Scott Lalone are guiding the junior varsity team and Jaret Langstaff has assumed the helm of the modified team giving the program a staff composed entirely of former OFA athletes.

Eric Pinkerton, the youngest of the Pinkerton brothers, played on Jim Pinkerton’s final team and now coaches youth baseball in Fayetteville, N.Y.

“I think is just wonderful that Tommy is taking over the varsity team. It keeps the cycle going,” says Sargent.

“Working together, Tommy and Marc will have a lot of fun and be very successful.”

The Pinkerton family legacy at OFA baseball also continues in the playing ranks where Tom and Jackie Pinkerton’s son, sophomore Seth Pinkerton, is part of a talented Blue Devil squad which is looking to repeat as Section 10 Class B Champions.

But as far as Tom Pinkerton is concerned the postseason is a long range goal.

“Right now I am concentrating on taking care of the little things in preparation and in practice. I believe that if we work hard at the little things the work will pay off in winning,” said Pinkerton who also coaches OFA’s girls modified soccer team and the girls seventh grade basketball team .

“My motto is Win Today and our first goal is to win the Central Division Championship which is extremely difficult. ”

Pinkerton feels Blue Devils are well equipped to achieve all of their goals returning the bulk of last year’s squad with several multi-positional players and the entire deep pitching staff.

The Devils feature a cast of proven athletes with a strong baseball pedigree looking to complete outstanding school years in athletics.

Returning to the Devil squad are seniors: Alex Farrell (P, 2b, OF), Breton LaRose (P, LF, 1B), Andrew Cole (CF), Konnor Murdock (3B, OF), Pat Cosmo (Middle IF), Zach Sharpe (P, 1B), Brendan Arsenault (P, RF, 1B), junior Jon Tayler (C, OF) and sophomores Seth Pinkerton (P-Everywhere) and Kinnon LaRose (Everywhere).

Moving up with Coach Pinkerton from the JV level are: sophomore DaKota Brady (1B, 2B, OF) and juniors Zach Barr (C, 3B) and Chandler Barney (OF).

“This is just a great group to start my varsity career with. I have coached them all at the JV level and know them very well,” said Coach Pinkerton.

“We have a lot of talent, we have guys who can play different positions and we have excellent pitching.”

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