Six weeks after leading the North Hall baseball team to its first-ever state championship, outgoing coach Trent Mongero received perhaps the ultimate accolade in his profession.
The American Baseball Coach Association on Wednesday named Mongero its High School Division III National Coach of the Year following the Trojans’ drastic turnaround this season. North Hall went from a seemingly crushing late-season slide to winning 10 straight games and the Class 3A state championship.
Mongero last week accepted the head coaching position at Glynn Academy in Brunswick. He spent 11 years at North Hall, and his final act there garnered a handful of awards.
Georgia Dugout Preview Magazine chose Mongero as its Class 3A Coach of the Year, and he was named the ABCA Division III, Region 3 Coach of the Year last Thursday. But this week’s recognition topped them all, cementing Mongero’s status among his peers across the nation.
The Trojans went 29-11 this season, surging out to an 18-4 start and unbeaten mark in region play. But the squad suffered a 1-6 stretch to close the regular season — one that included three one-run losses decided in the final inning — as its playoff seed dropped from No. 1 to a No. 3.
That slump extended to North Hall’s playoff opener, a 7-3 loss at Pace Academy. Instead of folding, Mongero’s club rallied to win the series and didn’t look back.
Starting pitchers Reese Olson and Corban Meeler combined to toss eight complete games during the state tournament, with both achieving the feat to lead the Trojans in their championship series sweep of Pierce County on May 25 in Savannah.
North Hall combined those great performances on the mound with streaky and timely hitting as it upset three top-seeded teams on the way to the state title.
Players and coaches credited Mongero’s emphasis on team and positive reinforcement as catalysts for their remarkable playoff run.