Dirigo coach Ryan Palmer understands how Mountain Valley Conference opponents will react when they see Tyler Frost in uniform this spring, but he has little sympathy.

“Other teams are thinking, ‘Geez, when is this kid going to graduate? It seems like he’s been here for 10 years,'” Palmer said.

“Even last year, he played like a senior,” Palmer added. “And to think right now that he’s only a junior and he has another year after this is just scary.”

Frost’s fearsomeness as a competitor is a reason why he’s been a contributor in three sports, and a starter in baseball, for his entire high school career.

“Nobody has more heart than Tyler Frost does,” Palmer said. “I’m sure (former Dirigo football coach Dave) Crutchfield and (basketball coach Travis) Magnusson will tell you the same thing. He gives it his all. I’m not going to say all of the other guys don’t have heart, but he is a great leader, and he’s going to give it his all no matter what.”

Frost played a key role on Dirigo’s back-to-back Class C state championship teams — as a third baseman his freshman year and third base/catcher/cleanup hitter last year.


With seven starters graduated from last year’s team, including older brother T.J., Frost is taking on more of a leadership role as the Cougars vie for an unprecedented third consecutive state title, and fourth in five years.

“I’m getting into that role now, but I like to do it the right way,” he said. “The right way is by example, not just haggle, haggle, haggle.”

Frost said the example he follows is Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

“He plays dirt-hard and he doesn’t take any crap from anyone for being, what, 5-6, 5-7,” Frost said.

Frost has a couple of inches on Pedroia in height as part of his classic catcher/fullback build.

Yet Frost, a guard who led the MVC in assists this year, is deceptively athletic.


“He’s still mobile and he’s still fairly quick for his size,” Palmer said.

An ankle injury suffered when he was a bruising sophomore fullback kept him from playing as much behind the plate as Palmer originally intended last spring.

This season, he will do the bulk of the catching, Palmer said, which is fine with Frost.

“It kind of reminds me of football a little bit with all the pads on and everything,” he said. “It’s just fun talking to all your pitchers and kind of controlling the infield from back there.”

The infield defense revolves around Frost, as does the batting order. He will be moving up to the No. 3 spot this year.

“He’s a great No. 3 hitter because he makes contact. He struck out maybe three times in his first two years,” Palmer said. “He has power. He uses all fields. The outside pitch, he’ll take it to right field. And if need be, he can put a bunt down.”


Frost credits a local baseball legend, Maine Baseball Hall-of-Famer Bitsy Ionta, with teaching him the fundamentals of the game from a young age.

Coaching and good chemistry have been keys to winning back-to-back state titles, Frost said.

“It starts with being a tight unit, with the coaches, Coach Palmer, keeping us very close. The coaching staff’s been right there, too. If there’s a problem, we handle it together,” he said. “We’re a very close school, no matter what the sport is. We’re friends with everybody.”

This is the first year Frost won’t be playing with his older brother, who was a first baseman on last year’s team. Tyler said he will miss T.J., who is attending the University of New England, but is glad to have the opportunity to match and perhaps pass him in state championships won. Between baseball and basketball, T.J. won four. Tyler has three.

Gaining those bragging rights is a bigger priority to Frost than becoming the first Class C team to win three baseball titles in a row, a distinction he said he wasn’t even aware of until it was mentioned to him in an interview.

“It’s not going to change how we play,” he said. “We’ve got to come into every season with a fresh start. Teams are obviously going to be gunning for us, but you like that as an athlete.”

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