The Hudson Independent looks at the prospects for local softball and baseball teams as the spring seasons get underway.
by Tom Pedulla –
Coach: Kim Reznicek
Top returning players: Third baseman Emma LaBella, first baseman Jeanne Longworth, catcher Sky Piacentino, shortstop Ashley Polimeno.
Top newcomers: Second baseman Samantha Arone, pitcher Gabriella Bonilla.
Key to success: Much is being asked of Bonilla, an eighth grader who will be expected to regularly take the ball. Then again, she possesses uncommon leadership and poise for her age.
Outlook: “We only have 11 players, but they are eleven that are committed to being successful. I hope that work ethic will help us be successful.” – Reznicek
Coach: Diane Campbell
Top returning players: Third baseman Lauren Ahearn, first baseman Isla Parton, catcher Abby Schiller, right-hander Dana Van Buren, Centerfielder Emmy Wenstrup.
Top newcomers: Infielder-outfielder Ashley Morgner, shortstop Destiny Stevens.
Key to success: Van Buren pitched Hackley to the Ivy League championship game last year. She is overpowering.
Outlook: “My expectation is that we take the league this year and go to the championship game and win. I think we’re that good that we will be able to do that.” – Campbell
Coach: Martin Resendiz
Top returning players: Left fielder Natalie D’Amelio, shortstop Eva Gilbert, first baseman Emily Hanlon, catcher Julia Weber.
Top newcomers: Infielder/outfielder Ruby Hanna, infielder Isabella Moyer.
Key to success: Unproven pitchers will be asked to make steady progress.
Outlook: “I don’t want to use the word ‘rebuilding,’ but it’s definitely going to be a learning year for us. Our aim is to be competitive within the section.” – Resendiz
Coach: Shannon Nicholson
Top returning players: Infielder Sophia Herzberg, outfielder Stellar Son, catcher Rebecca Wachen.
Top newcomer: Infielder Celia Torino.
Key to success: Although a young team, players show a willingness to learn from mistakes and make corrections.
Outlook: “I want to get all of the players on the same page from Day One and keep communication clear between all players and coaches.” – Nicholson
Coach: Anthony Giuliano
Top returning players: Third baseman Emma Briante, outfielder Peyton Koch, right-hander Delilah McCarthy, infielder Kelsey Santana.
Top newcomers: Catcher Eva Poll.
Key to success: After being its own worst enemy in the past, Sleepy Hollow must look to keep errors to a minimum.
Outlook: “One of my goals for the team is a .500 record. It would be a tall task to accomplish, but I do think it’s realistic.”
Coach: Frank Adamo
Top returning players: Left-hander Nathaniel Bloom, outfielder Brian Dubilier, left-hander Zachary Holzman, second baseman Thomas Ritch, right-hander Andrew Schwabe, shortstop Tyler Sepinski.
Top newcomers: Roster stacked with returning players.
Key to success: The ability to develop pitchers who can provide quality innings will determine how high the Eagles can fly.
Outlook: “I would like to see us make a deeper playoff run than we have in the past couple of years.” – Adamo
Coach: Steve Frolo
Top returning players: Shortstop Peter Clyne, right-hander Alex Kaloupoutis, centerfielder Jason Mark, second baseman Tyler O’Brien.
Top newcomers: Outfielder Mitch Einhorn, catcher Matthew Zampolin
Key to success: Young pitchers must continue to grow and provide quality innings.
Outlook: “We’re hoping to be a little bit better than .500 this year because we are a relatively young team.” – Frolo
Coach: Michael DiNardo
Top returning players: Outfielder Cris D’Amelio, right-hander Brandon Gallagher, left fielder Trygve Ordahl, left-hander Evan Panjwani, Right-hander Liam Toolan.
Top newcomers: Middle infielder Jake Bryant, infielder Dylan Grande, outfielder Luke Schrader.
Key to success: The Bulldogs must replace a good deal of hitting and pitching lost to graduation last year.
Outlook: “We’re a young team with many new parts. But if we all blend together, we will be very successful. We should be able to compete for a league title and peak at sectionals.” – DiNardo
Coach: Dale Mueller
Top returning players: Third baseman Marcus Diaz, shortstop Carter Myers-Brown, pitcher-catcher August Peterson, infielder Justin Small.
Top newcomers: Left-hander-centerfielder Harrison Blueweiss, right-hander Aidan McLaren.
Key to success: Veteran nucleus must find ways to win some of the close games that were lost last spring.
Outlook: “We had a pretty strong year in 2018. I expect something very similar this year.” – Mueller
Coach: Ryan O’Rourke
Top returning players: Centerfielder Jackson Many, third baseman Luke McCarthy, shortstop Manny Perez, right-hander Andrew Walek.
Top newcomers: Catcher Manny Abreu, right-hander Devin Betheja, second baseman Patrick Smith.
Key to success: Players have the talent to succeed. They must develop the confidence needed to compete at a high level.
Outlook: “If all goes well, we can compete for a league title.” – O’Rourke