WEYMOUTH, Mass. (October 18, 2022) -- For the second consecutive summer, the Vermont Lake Monsters have been honored as the Futures League’s Organization of the Year.
Commissioner Joe Paolucci presented the award during the Futures League’s Fall Organizational Meeting, which was held earlier this month in conjunction with the Third Annual Golf Tournament at Leicester Country Club.
It was another all-around summer for the Vermont organization as it topped the Futures League in both the regular-season standings and fan attendance for the second consecutive summer. The Lake Monsters are led by President & COO Chris English, Senior Vice President C.J. Knudsen (the 2021 Executive of the Year), General Manager Dave Schermerhorn and two-time Futures League Manager of the Year Pete Wilk.
“The Lake Monsters are a first-class operation on and off the field,” Paolucci said. “They recruit top notch student-athletes and they play with grit, class, and determination. While they fell short in the championship game, they were still the class of the league all summer. Off the field, they managed to improve the already beautiful amenities at Centennial Field to help drive attendance. CJ and Dave continue to raise the bar for our league and we are so fortunate to have them as part of the Futures League family.”
Vermont went 44-19 during the regular season, breaking its own single-season league record for wins by two. After sweeping through the semifinal round, the Lake Monsters were three defensive outs away from claiming their second consecutive postseason championship in back-to-back games, including the deciding third title game against the Nashua Silver Knights.
In terms of attendance, a total of 72,635 fans walked through the gates at Burlington’s historic Centennial Field for 35 regular-season home games. Vermont’s average crowd of 2,075 fans was the highest in the Futures League before the COVID-19 pandemic. Three nights featured crowds of over 4,000.
More than 1,700 fans attended Vermont’s first two home playoff games before an announced crowd of 2,937 created a raucous atmosphere for the winner-take-all contest on Aug. 12.
A ballpark that has been opened since 1906, Centennial Field saw its capacity expand while receiving a major upgrade with the final completion of four beautiful new on-field, outdoor suites down the first-base line early in the season.
“When we took over the Lake Monsters, I knew to be successful, we needed to recruit extraordinary senior leadership, and we have just that in CJ Knudsen, Dave Schermerhorn, Morgan Brown, Dan Levitt (Designer of the Award Winning Lake Monsters Shipping Container Neapolitan Pizza) and Pete Wilk,” English said. “It has been a total team effort and also a ton of fun.”
The Lake Monsters endured a 0-3 start en route to creating their seven-game advantage over the New Britain Bees at the top of the standings. Their 13-game winning streak from May 29 through June 12 was the second-longest in league history, while separate streaks of seven and five games followed later in the summer. In total, Vermont was 30-8 in front of its home fans.
Seven Vermont players earned All-Futures League accolades including Pitcher of the Year and Top Pitching Prospect Sean Matson (Harvard), Relief Pitcher of the Year George Goldstein (Middlebury), and league-leading run producer Jimmy Evans (Tufts). Matson was the second straight Lake Monster to earn the league’s top pitching honors.
In addition to having eight Vermonters on the season-ending roster, Wilk and Director of Baseball Operations Morgan Brown continued adding to the profile of the Lake Monsters and the league by recruiting players from nationally recognized programs like Virginia, Vanderbilt, USC and Kansas.
“On and off the field, the entire Vermont Lake Monsters organization worked hard to provide a next level experience for our fans to enjoy,” Knudsen said. “We take great pride in being named the Organization of the Year for two consecutive years. We're very fortunate to have had some great success in 2021 and 2022, but we can't wait for the excitement of the 2023 season. We want to thank all of our fans, sponsors, and supporters that have cheered on the Monsters and are truly part of our success.”
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