Family First: Star Athlete Takes His Talent to Saint Anselm

Charlie Petruney plans to play Division II baseball at Saint Anselm College
Making it Official
“Making it Official” – Charlie Petruney in his Saint Anselm gear signing his National Letter of Intent. Petruney verbally committed to the Hawks program in October of this year. “I’m excited to play in front of a new group of people,” Petruney said.

The crack of the bat is arguably one of the greatest sounds in all sports. Such a loud and sharp sound may cause the average onlooker to wince or flinch as the ball flies off the bat. But as senior Charlie Petruney stands in the batter’s box, his expression does not change. With each swing of the bat, he maintains focus on his only objective. He has been in this position before, perhaps even a thousand times. Every movement is conditioned to perfection, yet he fails more than he succeeds. After all, his love for the game prevails.

Family First
Charlie was accompanied by his parents John and Heather Petruney on his singing day. Petruney officially committed to Saint Anselm. “It’s a great school that we have tons of experience with,” John Petruney said.

“From the moment he was able to hold a bat, Charlie wanted to play baseball.” Says Charlie’s parents. Baseball has been a part of Charlie’s life since his earliest years. His passion for the game is on the brink of obsession. As he practices in his backyard, late at night, he looks for any miscue or minor fault that could be detrimental to his swing as a whole. After all, such a commitment is what it takes for athletes to make it to the collegiate level. With Charlie’s recent commitment to play Division II baseball at Saint Anselm College, he continues to exceed the boundaries of a high school athlete.

Petruney’s baseball career began in the ranks of the Hopkinton Little League, where he played for 6 years as he dominated the league. Often coaches selecting teams would argue over the first pick in hopes of getting a chance at Petruney’s abilities. Charlie had many highlights in his short Little League career. One in particular remains special to his father, John.

“Charlie once had an unassisted triple play, catching a line drive, tagging the base, and the last player who was running” John explained. Later in that game, Charlie’s coach carried him off the field on his shoulders, praising his amazing play. The memories from his early years are still prevalent in Charlie’s mind, he even kept the game ball as a piece of memorabilia to look back on.

“Charlie mostly played sports with me and my friends growing up, which allowed him to grow tougher” Jack, Charlie’s older brother, claims. Starting at a young age, Charlie had a lot to prove. Yet, Jack Petruney could tell his younger brother had a special ability. This tough love allowed Charlie to flourish into the athlete he is today.

Eventually, the Little League did not provide enough practice. Charlie then began playing baseball at the club level. This meant he would be practicing and playing year-round, not just in the spring when the majority of baseball takes place. He joined a program called the Metrowest Devils. The team would become a second home for Charlie as he traveled and practiced with the team until his senior year. The Petruneys made baseball their entire life, sometimes traveling thousands of miles for single tournaments or showcases.

Hard work and determination have been ideals for Charlie and his family throughout his journey. Perhaps what was harder than any practice or game was the college recruitment process.

“Challenging”, John and Heather Petruney described the recruitment process, “There are many different facets of the process that are each challenging. It also creates a lot of pressure for the athlete.”

In The Spotlight
“In the Spotlight” – Charlie Petruney steps into the batter’s box during a summer showcase game for the MWS Devils. The Devils displayed over ten NCAA baseball commits on their roster. “The team was like a second family for me,” Petruney said.

According to National Collegiate Athletic Association statistics, just under eight million high school students participate in athletics, and from that, only 495,000 continue to play at NCAA schools. High school student-athletes also have much to consider about applying to college. Depending on the location of the targeted college, most high schoolers take the ACT or SAT, even those applying for sports. In addition to filling out regular college applications, student-athletes carry the stress of organizing a sports portfolio and competing to be scouted for a spot in a college sports team.

Throughout the recruitment process, Petruney dealt with countless calls about possible opportunities. He also participated in a multitude of showcases. Each event is specifically designed to get high school athletes in contact with college coaches. Charlie even toyed with the idea of becoming a two-sport collegiate athlete. After being named TVL All-Star his junior year he developed a strong reputation for both football and baseball. This would mean he would participate fully in both teams, with the only exception being when he was in season. “It was a real option. I don’t know if that would be the best for me though.” Petruney said.

In recent years, the process has become more challenging. The pandemic has impacted many college athletes by allowing them to have another year of eligibility, this in turn makes it harder to commit to a college straight from high school.

For Charlie, this meant he needed to show he was worth a spot on a roster that already featured thirty-eight players. “It was intimidating. Even when I went for a visit the team looked like they had enough guys.” Petruney states.

“WPI and Bentley were towards the top of my list as well,” Petruney remarks. He toured many colleges in hopes of finding one that fit him. In the end, what made Charlie decide to go another direction was the culture around the Saint Anselm program and the family ties. “My sister went there. I also had a great experience with the coaching staff,” Petruney mentioned as he explained his decision.

Charlie’s sister Parker Petruney attended Saint Anselm from 2017 to 2021. Through her four years on campus, the Petruneys began to grow closer to the Saint Anselm community. Often visiting for athletic events or graduation, Charlie became familiar with the campus. Now that he has the assurance of a great community that will support him, Charlie is confident he has made the right choice.

However, not all things are as they seem.

Disappointment arose between Petruney and the program after long-time head coach Jerod Edmondson accepted an offer to coach professional baseball earlier this month. The betrayal of a coach leaving his up-and-coming recruits is one that never sits well. The Hawks will look to rebound from a below-average season last year with a new head coach leading the charge. “I’m ready to start with a blank slate. But I’m hoping for a good coach because that makes the college baseball experience.” Petruney said.

As he begins his senior year, Charlie is focused on his team and the task at hand. The Hillers are looking to bounce back from a surprising first-round exit from last year’s state tournament. With Petruney leading the charge, the Hillers are primed for a breakout year. Head Coach Matt Anderson is thrilled to have such great leadership on the team, something that has been lacking in past years. Unlike the rest of the team, once the final out of the season is made, Petruney will immediately begin his training again. Although it may be his last time suiting up for the Hillers, he will continue to build his legacy and career at his next stop. Goffstown, New Hampshire.


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