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Portsmouth High seniors commit to play Division I college baseball

Tim McGuire, Chris Bulk offered athletic scholarships to separate Connecticut universities

By Jim McGaw
Posted 11/17/20

PORTSMOUTH — It was only fitting that Tim McGuire and Chris Bulk gathered at the Arthur Sherman Field on Monday afternoon to sign their letters of intent to play Division I baseball in college …

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Portsmouth High seniors commit to play Division I college baseball

Tim McGuire, Chris Bulk offered athletic scholarships to separate Connecticut universities

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — It was only fitting that Tim McGuire and Chris Bulk gathered at the Arthur Sherman Field on Monday afternoon to sign their letters of intent to play Division I baseball in college next year.

For many years, that’s where the two basically grew up together and honed the skills — catching, pitching, batting and fielding — that got them where they are today.

Portsmouth High School Athletic Director Stephen Trezvant hosted a virtual college signing event for the two seniors, both of whom were offered athletic scholarships. 

Tim will be attending Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., while Chris is going to Central Connecticut State University.

“Two of our own are getting reading to represent our town, our school, our community at the next level,” said Mr. Trezvant, adding that both students have been recognized for their outstanding accomplishments “both on and off the field.”

“If I were to thank everybody, I’d be here forever,” said Tim, who along with Chris was appearing on the Zoom meeting from the Portsmouth Little League field. “Most of all, I want to thank my mom and dad who have been there for me since day one. I’m thankful for having them and love them very dearly.”

Chris also thanked his parents and added, “I would also have to give huge thanks to Coach McGuire for being tough on me for all these years.”

That would be Matt McGuire, Tim’s dad, who not only coaches the PHS varsity baseball team but also coached the two students in Little League for years. 

Tim, who said his dad has been throwing the ball around with him since he was a little kid, said it will be different playing ball in college without him around.

“It’s going to be very weird not seeing him every day,” he said.

Chris said he’ll also miss Mr. McGuire’s presence. “I’m going to miss him yelling at me. He’s been a great coach throughout my life,” he said.

Tim said he was looking at several other colleges, including the University of Rhode Island, UMass-Amherst and a couple of Ivy League schools, before deciding on Sacred Heart after a visit to the campus back in December. 

“I fell in love with the school. I talked to the baseball coach and we got along fine,” said Tim. “It’s a rather small school; it has about 9,000 undergraduate students. But it seems like everybody is very tightly knit together… and welcoming. I’m excited for that.”

He said he’s planning on majoring in computer science or business administration, and hopes to work in computers after college.

Chris, who plans on majoring in physical education and may look to being a gym teacher some day, was looking at Bridgewater State and other schools around New England, but felt that Central Connecticut was the right fit for him.

“It’s a small little town. It almost felt like Portsmouth,” he said.

Both students said they’ve always wanted to compete at the college level.

“It’s been a goal of mine ever since I was in Little League, when I was 9 or 10,” said Tim.

He got some extra motivation when his older sister, MaryKate McGuire, committed to Duke University, where the PHS alumnus is now a standout soccer player.

As for what advice they’d give to future student-athletes, Chris said, “Work hard and don’t give up, but also value being with your teammates. I’ve been with Tim since I was 8 years old.”

Tim also said hard work is key. “There’s always somebody at equal level who works just as hard as you. If you don’t work hard, you’re never going to get to that dream,” he said.

They also said the COVID pandemic has taught them to never take the little things — such as attending school in person or seeing their friends — for granted.

PHS Principal Joseph Amaral, who along with Mr. Trezvant signed a proclamation for both students, said they exemplified what it means to be a successful student-athlete, since they excel at athletics, in the classroom, and as citizens. “You’re good role models, you’re good people,” Mr. Amaral said. “Kudos to you to be able to juggle those three things.”

Added Mr. Trezvant, “You will make us proud in the years to come. We’re excited to see what you do and we’re so proud to have had you as part of our school and our community.”

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