By Katrina Jansen-Buciuni, photo editor
The 2017 boys baseball team is up to the plate with the goal of returning once again to state. Not only to have the opportunity to go to state, but to win it. This team overflows with talent and potential.
The team, with a record of 8-7, is very young this season, but still packed with experience.
“We have one simple goal: to win state,” said Varsity Coach Michael Schmidt. “The collection of talent on this team is good enough to accomplish it, but it won’t be handed to us. We want to be peaking when the games matter most.”
Due to the weather at the beginning of this season, many of the games have been canceled. But as more games are being rescheduled and played, the boys have made huge improvements and found their groove.
Big hits will come around with more experience during the season, Schmidt said. So far, when opportunities were there for something even better, players have hesitated to swing. Their outstanding pitching and stellar defense have kept them in most ball games despite the low run totals.
Now baseball isn’t just about winning and losing, it’s about the passion and drive that’s demonstrated every day by this team.
“Having the opportunity to play high school baseball at the next level but to be able to share it with the guys throughout high school really just makes it special,” said Ryan Hoerter, a senior and team captain.
A huge highlight for the boys this season was spring break, when they went down to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex and had the opportunity to play against four other teams from New York, New Jersey and Florida, said Schmidt. This was located on Walt Disney property.
Schmidt said it is really important to enjoy the game and never forget the love of the sport, over the drive to win.
“We talk a lot about not allowing the pressure to exceed the pleasure. To stay within yourself and not to try and do too much. Trust what got you here and allow the process to take care of itself,” said Schmidt.
Playing high competitive sports brings out the worst in people. But in the true stars, it brings out the best. During summer league you find several baseball players just playing for themselves trying to get recruited to play for the next level. But as spring time comes around, high school season starts. That’s when everyone really starts playing for each other in pursuit of a state championship.
“To young baseball players I would say, don’t give up on your dreams because you’re not who you want to be at a young age. It takes time with hard work and dedication to reach that point of potential. Also never forget to have fun. It’s a game, never forget that!” said Hoerter.