24°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Seith Bedard on Discipline, Dedication, Work Ethic, and Good Character

Exercise+Science+and+Physical+Education%2C+2004

Exercise Science and Physical Education, 2004

In the last game of the baseball season, playing against the University of Southern Main, team captain Seith Bedard had lead the Beacons closer to the Little East Conference tournament than the team had ever been at that point in the history of the university. 
“It’s the bottom of the ninth,” he says. “We’re down by one run, the tying run on second base. Our clean up hitter, Rob Young, hit a ball out to right field that he absolutely crushed, and the bench went crazy because we thought we won the game.” 
Players were jumping up and running out of the dugout, celebrating as the ball sailed up over the field. But Beacon stadium was notorious for its headwinds. 
“The wind coming off the water would literally be about 40 or 50 miles an hour and would knock balls down consistently. As we saw the ball going out of the park, the wind started gusting and blew the ball back into play, and the right fielder caught it for the last out. We went from total euphoria to complete heartbreak in a matter of a minute.” 
The team still gathers every year for a cookout at Coach Bettencourt’s house. 
“It’s the ongoing joke. If we’d played in any other field in the state that ball’s a home run. A lot of us were excited a few years back when we saw plans that the school would reach an agreement with BC High. They were planning on building a real state of the art stadium on campus there.” 
Since Bedard left, the University of Massachusetts Boston baseball team has played in the college world series. 
“When I went there, we did not have [a] field to practice [on]. My high school was more equipped to house a baseball team than the campus was, and I can say I had a small part in really changing that program. It means an awful lot to me to come back every year and see not just how well the team is doing, but seeing the athletics program and the student body really buying into things, and they’re really making a conscious effort to make sure that these programs are done right.” 
Bedard enrolled at UMass Boston primarily to play baseball. 
“My senior year of high school, UMass Boston got a new coach, a gentleman by the name of Mark Bettencourt, and at the time, the baseball program wasn’t really good.” 
UMass Boston didn’t even have a home stadium; what sold Bedard on joining the UMass Boston baseball team was the opportunity to really make an imprint on the school athletically. 
“The campus center was being built, and since then the campus has flourished, and in a small way I was able to be a part of changing the culture of the athletics program.” 
Couch Bettencourt brought an exciting energy to the baseball field, and Bedard believed that he could help change the culture and how people in the Little East Conference, or even in New England, viewed UMass Boston. 
“He had a saying printed on our shirts: Discipline, Dedication, Work Ethic, and Good Character. He always drove that into his players and it’s something that not only did we take on the field with us, but we took off the field in the classroom and in the community.” 
The coaches in the athletics department enforce a strict study hall period that athletes attend every day. 
“Our grades were closely monitored, so if not in the weight room, I was in study hall, and if I wasn’t in study hall I was over in the library doing some studying or getting some tutoring,” Bedard says. “Academics were taken just as seriously as athletics. So, not only was there an expectation and a demand to work hard in the weight room and on the field, but there was just as much focus put on your studies and making sure you made grade point average, and you were on course to graduate.” 
As a high school coach and administrator, now Bedard instills those lessons into his students. 
“Being a part of the baseball program was very time consuming. It was a real demand,” he says. “It shaped the person that I am today, and as a matter of fact it really shaped the kind of educator that I am because the rigor and the demands of being a student athlete at UMass Boston was very difficult, and I took a lot of the lessons that I learned there and implemented them into the school that I work at right now.” 
One of the biggest things that Bedard took away from UMass Boston, was from a class that he took in his junior year with professor Avery Faigenbaum called Project JUMP. 
“It was an acronym: Junior Urban Movement Program at the Murphy school down the street from the campus, and the class required students to create and implement an after school program for the kids of Dorchester.” 
It changed Bedard’s outlook on what he wanted to do with his life. 
“To be thrown into that at such a young age and basically given the opportunity to create a program and to work with these kids, the lessons he gave us with the kids of Dorchester were invaluable. They’re inner city kids. They’re tough kids.” 
After graduation, Bedard taught special education for a few years and ultimately became the director of the Peabody Learning Academy, an alternative program affiliated with Peabody High School for students who are at risk of dropping out or who have dropped out. 
“My job is to get them back on the right path, and I’ve been really successful in getting a lot of these kids into college, and into other post secondary schools, so it really stems back to my time with Dr. Fagenbaum. That class out of all the classes that I’ve taken at UMass Boston, that was really the one that left an imprint on me.” 
Bedard remembers his professors being rigorous and having high expectations. UMass Boston felt like an adult place to learn, with a hard working culture. 
“Because of the dynamics, the schoolwork, there were a lot of people that were a lot older than me. As a matter of fact, there were some people in my classes that were old enough to be my parents, but the classes were so engaging you really got a chance to know all the students, and it was much like a really big family atmosphere. It was great.” 
The only thing Bedard regrets about his is not being able to be an undergrad at UMass Boston when the master plan is complete. 
“The campus: it’s beautiful. It’s so modern. It’s really nice to see that the state has invested time, money, and resources in really making that school top notch, one of the gems of all of New England. When I went there, aesthetically, it really wasn’t the nicest thing you saw going through town, but now you really can’t help but stop and just look at the place, and walk around campus. To see that the school has really blossomed and flourished over the past ten years, it’s made me really proud to be able to say that’s where I went to school.”

About the Contributor
Caleb Nelson served as the following positions for The Mass Media the following years: Editor-in-Chief: Fall 2010; 2010-2011; Fall 2011 News Editor: Spring 2009; 2009-2010