by Tom Pedulla –
With the hope that not all of the season will be lost to the covid-19 pandemic, The Hudson Independent looks at the prospects for our local high school softball and baseball teams:
Coach: Kim Reznicek
Top returning players: Second base Samantha Arone, Catcher Sky Piacentino, Pitcher Ashley Polimeno.
Top newcomers: First base Cameryn Bell, Shortstop Gabriella Bonilla.
Key to success: Coach Reznicek is emphasizing the need to limit mistakes in the field and on the basepaths.
Outlook: “We want to strive to be great. It’s been a few years since we hosted a first-round playoff game. This team is capable of making that happen.” — Reznicek
Coach: Diane Campbell
Top returning players: Third base Lauren Ahern, Catcher Abbey Schiller, Shortstop Destiny Stephen, Centerfielder Emmy Wenstrub.
Top newcomers: Utility player Avery Leighton, Outfielder Allie Oh, Pitcher Katie O’Rourke, Utility player Sai Shaw.
Key to success: The Hornets must do what they can to replace ace Dana Van Buren, no mean feat, and four other starters. O’Rourke is a freshman with considerable promise.
Outlook: — “It is hard to start fresh, but we are going to work on it. It is definitely a rebuilding year.” — Campbell
Coach: Martin Resendiz
Top returning players: First base Pearl Chalsen, Outfielder Kimberly Chase, Second base Lara Greene, Shortstop Isabella Moyer, Third base Karina Ulrich.
Top newcomers: Catcher Samantha Pateman, Outfielder Shelby Richardson.
Key to success: The Bulldogs must avoid the big innings that plagued them last season.
Outlook: — “We are looking for a lot of improvement defensively. If we can do that, we will be all right.” — Resendiz
Coach: Briana Panarese
Top returning players: Pitcher Sophia Herzberg, Centerfielder Sophia VanBeek, First base Alexa Wathen.
Top newcomers: Third base Miranda Dennis, Shortstop Olivia Madkis, Infielder Luna Minnifield.
Key to success: Masters appears to have it all with Herzberg’s strong pitching, solid defense and a lineup able to hit for average and power.
Outlook: “This team should be highly competitive in every game we play.” — Panarese
Coach: Jamie Bucci
Top returning players: Outfielder Molly Brennan, Third base Emma Briante, Catcher Maggie Fuller, Outfielder Peyton Koch, Outfielder Marin Lis, Outfielder Grace Ryan.
Top newcomers: Catcher Eva Poll, First base Allie Lara.
Key to success: New head coach Jamie Bucci is eager to create a fun atmosphere focused on individual and team improvement.
Outlook: “We have the ability to reach the sectional playoffs, which I believe has not happened in quite a while.” — Bucci
Coach: Frank Adamo
Top returning players: First baseman Nate Bloom, Second baseman Julsan Charkes, Catcher Will Charkes, Pitcher Zach Cohen, Outfielder Nick Giannopoulos, Shortstop Tyler Sepinski.
Key to success: Coach Adamo is emphasizing the need for players to learn their roles and make the most of them.
Outlook: “We have an extremely deep and talented team. Every player has something special to contribute.” — Adamo
Coach: Steve Frolo
Top returning players: Pitcher Niki Eckert, Pitcher Alex Kalapoutis, Catcher Tommy Larson, Third baseman Tyler O’Brien, First baseman James Sexton-Holtmier.
Top newcomers: Shortstop Aiden Aybar, Pitcher Will Gannon, Second baseman Ben Metcalfe.
Key to success: Pitching and depth loom as strong points.
Outlook: “The outlook is bright with this passionate and dedicated group of players.” — Frolo
Coach: Michael DiNardo
Top returning players: Shortstop Jake Bryant, Third baseman Paul Galano, Pitcher Evan Panjwani, Outfielder Brandon Gallagher, Infielder Dylan Grande.
Top newcomers: Outfielder Trevor Annicharico, utility player Caleb Moyer, Pitcher Wyatt Triestman.
Key to success: Panjwani, bound for Long Island University, heads a quality rotation that must pitch to its potential.
Outlook: “If we avoid injury and play to our potential, we should be able to make some noise in the sectionals.” — DiNardo
Coach: Dale Mueller
Top returning players: Aidan McLarin, Pitcher August Peterson, Third baseman Justin Small.
Top newcomers: Shortstop Ethan Hart, Pitcher Ethan Schlapp.
Key to success: Masters offers a deep lineup to offset whatever it lacks in power.
Outlook: “We had a really strong season (9-4) last year. This team has the talent to equal or surpass that.” — Mueller
Coach: Ryan O’Rourke
Top returning players: Pitcher Devin Betheja, Shortstop Luke McCarthy, Outfielder John Nisco, Second baseman Patrick Smith.
Top newcomer: Pitcher Luke Many.
Key to success: Betheja, a talent on the mound, is backed by a strong middle infield.
Outlook: “I told them the sky is the limit if they keep their grades up and continue to work hard.” – O’Rourke