Sunday, May 19, 2024

Hometown trio reunites on baseball roster

Jake Calkins, Brayden Trombley and Bostyn Duquette (left to right) at Chip Cummings Field April 4.


By Collin Bolebruch

Brayden Trombley, Plattsburgh High School graduate, was completely ready to leave a circle he had grown accustomed to when he walked on to the Plattsburgh State baseball team his first season. All of his teammates came from south of the Adirondack Park.

Trombley’s career changed this year when two of his high school friends — Bostyn Duquette and Jake Calkins — made the cut for this year’s Cardinals team. Now, the three of them play just a five-minute drive from their high school field. 



Trombley and the Plattsburgh Hornets won Section VII championships in three sports: two in baseball and one each in basketball and ice hockey. He even spent a season on the football team.

Plattsburgh High School is below average in size, with approximately 500 students. At smaller schools, teams share a lot of the same student-athletes. As a result, Trombley, Duquette and Calkins have been playing together for nearly a decade.

“I left it behind, that I wasn’t going to be playing with any of my close friends ever again,” Trombley said.

Trombley committed to SUNY Plattsburgh in 2023 with no promise he’d make the baseball team and had to be fully ready that his athletic career was over. He got good news when his name was on the final roster.

He got better news, heading into his sophomore year, that two of his good friends would be his teammates again.

“I get to see (Bostyn) and Jake every day,” Trombley said. “It’s pretty awesome.”



Like Trombley, Duquette played baseball, basketball, hockey and football at Plattsburgh High School. There, he won Most Outstanding Athlete, was named All-Section in baseball twice and was the football team’s quarterback.

Duquette originally planned on a change of scenery, spending his first year of college in Pittsford, New York at St. John Fisher University. His year didn’t go how he’d have liked it to, and he took a year away from baseball.

With two semesters under his belt, Duquette looked at his options over the summer and was stuck on the idea of returning home — so he transferred to Plattsburgh State.

“I’ve played on almost every single field in Plattsburgh,” Duquette said. “It’s familiar and it’s comfortable.”

The Hornets played the Section VII Championship on Chip Cummings Field, where the Cardinals play home games.

Gary Duquette, Bostyn’s father, was the Cardinals’ pitching coach for eight seasons, ending in 2021. Through his youth, Bostyn Duquette was around the team on road trips and practices.

Duquette always had an inkling that he would have a chance with Plattsburgh because of his father’s connection. He left home to challenge himself, but ultimately ended up where he’s meant to be — alongside his friends.

“Plattsburgh isn’t really a huge place,” Duquette said. “Like, ‘Hey, you’re a townie too.’ You just kind of get that vibe that other people just don’t really have.”



Calkins played baseball and hockey with Duquette and Trombley. Like Trombley, he was attending Plattsburgh, sports or not.

Calkins attended classes and considered transferring before trying out and landing a spot on the baseball team. The special connection gave him a reason to stay.

“Having this group of guys you can go to, it feels like home even more,” Calkins said.

The close bond he’s developed with his childhood teammates has given Calkins a jump on befriending his other teammates.

“Playing together since Little League, you really grow connections and chemistry that some teammates can’t build as quick,” Calkins said. “I think it’s a lot of fun.”

Calkins isn’t distracted from his goal, and he knows he’s fighting for a spot on the team and has to earn his playing time. He does think he has an edge, though.

“The biggest thing is being comfortable. Growing up on these fields, you truly have an advantage over these guys,” Calkins said. “It’s the little things that can get you a starting spot.”



The former Hornets had the privilege of learning from a local star — former All-SUNYAC First Teamer and SUNYAC All-Decade selection Patrick Shaughnessy.

Shaughnessy has picked up multiple coaching gigs since his retirement, but most of his work goes into his position as head coach at Plattsburgh High School. 

Duquette, Trombley and Calkins had a unique opportunity to learn from a former Plattsburgh Stater, without knowing they’d one day be one too.

“Shaughnessy knew a lot about baseball and he was pretty darn good at it,” Trombley said. “He knows how to talk to us, how to get through to us. He tells us what we need to work through and what to work on.”

Shaughnessy’s knowledge of the game allowed the boys to develop completely, into the players they are today.

“He definitely brought an advantage to the table,” Duquette said. “He showed me this range of what it takes to actually play at this level and what can happen.”



Raised in a college town, Duquette, Trombley and Calkins have had plenty of opportunities to watch the Cardinals.

“I was always around college sports, and I’d go to watch them with my family,” Trombley said. “I grew up around Chip Cummings.”

Duquette, Trombley and Calkins get a special home field advantage. The same friends, families and supporters who watched and cheered for them as Hornets can continue to do so as Cardinals.

“Growing up, my biggest supporters have always been my family,” Calkins said. “Being home and having them able to go to these games is only going to make me play better, make me want to work harder and have them see me succeed.”


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