Abrupt end for Lepage and the Bulldogs

Shock wave: this is the end of an important chapter for the sports-study baseball program bearing the name of the Bulldogs of Édouard-Montpetit secondary school, in Montreal, a program that has seen Éric Gagné, Russell Martin, Abraham Toro and Jesen Therrien, among others.

For administrative reasons and certain divergent visions, the school management has definitively transferred the player development mandate to the non-profit organization (NPO): the Marquis of Montreal. Several coaches, who were already working with the Bulldogs program, will remain active and will also ensure continuity, unlike the builder Stéphane Lepage who will end his career instead, by January 2025, with his job as a physical education teacher.

Beyond the internal conflicts that led to the change, Lepage’s overall work over the past three decades is undoubtedly worthy of acclaim. The man would have hoped for a less abrupt end. Sadness and bitterness are inevitably present.

“I’m in my 32nd year and it’s like it’s been a year, he notably let know, when reached on the phone. We have no recognition, that’s a bit like that I feel… Right now, I feel like I couldn’t go all the way.”

Looking back, Lepage agrees that a sense of pride will probably take over one day. For the sport-studies program at Édouard-Montpetit high school, it is important to point out that this is not the end of the game. Far from there. A new chapter begins, that of the Marquis.

Touching testimonials

Lepage had been aware of the news for several weeks, but after sharing the information on social media on Friday, he was moved to tears. The time had come to read some testimonials about him.

Beyond his former players who reached the major leagues, plus Pierre-Luc Laforest, Steve Green and Otto Lopez, Lepage has visibly marked the lives of many young people during his 32 years at the helm of the program.

“I think I can speak for myself, but also for hundreds and hundreds of people you have taught during their time in their lives, saying: thank you for your vision, your patience, your generosity and the fundamental values transmitted that today make us grown and exceptional humans, ”wrote Emmanuel Garcia, once a hope for the New York Mets.

“Very good career, the pioneer of sports-studies, added Martin Bérubé, former pitcher who belonged to the organization of the Baltimore Orioles which, today, in turn leads the youngest. You deserve your place as a builder of baseball in Quebec!”

In passing, Lepage wanted to thank players, parents, coaches without forgetting Claude Corbeil, who was the director who implemented the sports-study program at Édouard-Montpetit.

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