April 17 - Mark ‘Pudge’ Gjormand passed the late Del Norwood yesterday for fifth all-time in Northern Virginia coaching victories. And it was his son, Josh, who pitched him to the milestone win.
Madison’s senior left-hander tossed a complete game in a 4-2 win over Ocean Lakes at the Hanahan Invitational Tournament as the No. 7 Warhawks improved to 9-2 and advanced to the Steadman Division semifinals. Gjormand scattered seven hits, struck out five and retired the side in order over the final three frames after the Dolphins (6-2) cut the lead to 4-2 in the fourth. The win was the University of Lynchburg recruit’s fourth this spring.
Chris Polymeropoulos had a two-run second-inning single and Colin Tuft and Luke Erdmann drove in runs the following inning on an RBI single and a sacrifice fly, respectively. Madison will play at Ashley Ridge (S.C.) in the semifinal game at 7:30 p.m. tonight.
“Reflecting on it, it’s really special. That’s something that I’ll never forget,” Gjormand said of his son being the game’s winning pitcher. “Josh just battled against a very good Ocean Lakes team. It was a playoff atmosphere.”
The win was Gjormand’s 421st as Madison’s coach, passing Norwood, the legendary Arlington figure who led Washington-Lee to 420 wins from 1960-87. “[Norwood] was just a great guy, and it means a lot because I know how well-respected he was, not just as a baseball coach but as a man,” Gjormand said.
“I met Coach Norwood when I was coaching at Marshall and Dean Sissler would bring him in and he would throw [batting practice], including right before the region championship game in ‘92 when we were getting ready to play West Springfield. It was amazing how well he could still throw, he was in his 60s and still played in a men’s league.”
Gjormand, who took over the Warhawks program in 1996, now trails Loudoun Valley’s Wayne Todd (502), Potomac’s Mike Covington (452) and two former area coaches - longtime Oakton skipper Tom Hall (437) and Ron Tugwell (431), who guided West Springfield to two state championships.
Despite being in his 24th season as Madison’s skipper and in his 33rd year overall as a high school coach, Gjormand hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.
“I feel young, excited every day and feel that I’m making a difference with kids,” the coach said. “Tug, that’s the guy I always wanted to be around, to work around, and to me, he’s the king. And Tom Hall is a legend. I’ve taken so much from those guys, and I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for being around them.
“When you’re getting into that kind of air, it’s very humbling.”
Photos of Josh Gjormand and of Mark ‘Pudge’ Gjormand by Albert Jacquez