Schreiber baseball ready for another great run

Schreiber+baseball+ready+for+another+great+run

Luke Kurta, Staff Writer

Spring is a sign of many things: warmer weather, longer days, flowers blooming.  But what brings the most excitement to these beautiful months are the roars of a baseball crowd and the competitiveness of our own high school’s team.  Although fans are not going to be as much of a factor in this year’s season, Schreiber’s baseball program is still bringing the intensity. 

Similar to many things during this odd year, preparations for the baseball season were as awkward as they were unprecedented.  As there was no conceivable safe way to have in-person workouts, players and coaches met online on virtual Zoom meetings in place of a pre-season.  

“We used Zoom meetings with our coaches to discuss the mental side of baseball, as well as organizing COVID-friendly practices outside of school,” said sophomore Dylan Epstein.  

Although an average viewer wouldn’t see it, baseball is not just a physical game—players need to have chemistry and learn what it means to be a good teammate.  Players cannot stay within themselves, but instead they must be aware of the game that is happening around them.  So, even though there weren’t any in-person workouts throughout the offseason, coaches still needed to stress interactions between players in order for a true team to form. 

Young players, like Dylan Epstein, are not hard to find in this year’s roster.  In fact, the team consists of only four returning players and the rest are new players looking to make an impact.  Seniors Chris Caprariello, Christian Schwirzbin, Jake Spiryda, and Dylan Trenaman will be tasked with taking on leading roles, as they are the only players with varsity-level experience.  As for the younger players, it will be exciting to see what they can bring to the table.  

“We’re looking forward to coaching the new players.  Having all of these new players will create a healthy competition for playing time,” said Coach Matthew Holzer. 

Competition for playing time isn’t necessarily a negative thing.  It pushes players to work their hardest each practice in the hopes of earning a spot.  This will help the coaches maintain the team dynamic. 

Although the coaches are excited to see what the future holds for our baseball team by examining the younger players, they do feel that the biggest potential roadblock for the 2021 season could be the inexperience of these youngsters.  Baseball is something that requires experience; for instance, even the best major league players spend a few years developing in the minor leagues.  Even in a normal year, this inexperience would be an issue, but combined with the lack of a true preseason, young players have almost no time to adjust to this new level of competition.  

“The team has shown that they are focused, willing to put in the work and are coachable, so Coach Spotteck and I are really looking forward to this season.  Our goal is simple: we want the team to just focus on getting better everyday,” said Coach Holzer.  

Neither the younger players nor the older players are fazed by all of these changes, and the coaches look forward to working with them.  In reality, this year is all about growth and adapting to change, so seeing Coach Holzer so confident in his players is a reassuring sign that this will be just as exciting a season as ever.

Of course, one of the most important things about a baseball season, or truly any sports season, is the team’s schedule.  

“We start our season against Massapequa, who is the number one ranked team in the county, but I think we can compete with anyone if we play like a team and pick each other up,” said sophomore Ryan Gawley.   

The importance of a team dynamic cannot be overstated, and if this year’s team can develop one, they can very well be a force to be reckoned with.

Due to COVID-19, this year’s season could vanish in the blink of an eye.  Given that one person tested positive for the virus, the varsity baseball team has been forced to quarantine for two weeks, and, since only a few teams this year have been COVID-free, the chance of a quarantine is not slim.  Safe COVID protocols must be stressed both on and off the field.  But, by following safety measures, our varsity baseball team is on the road to a successful season and possibly another County Championship appearance.