By Anthony Damon ‘18
The smell of freshly cut grass filled the air on a warm February day in Florida, as the baseball team warmed up for their first practice of spring training. The team travels to Florida annually to have a spring training camp while it’s still too cold to practice in Brooklyn. With this marking the unofficial beginning of the 2017 season, most of the boys were itching to get back out on the field and start working towards defending their title.
“It feels great to get back on the field, and start working with the guys,” said Mark Uritsky ’18. “Practice makes perfect, and the more practice we get, the better we’ll be.”
Defending their title is the team’s ultimate goal, and to do this they must work hard and work together. Practice is the key to success, and the Florida trip allows the team to get tons of practice hours that they wouldn’t get if they stayed in Brooklyn.
“The goal remains the same as always; to go 1-0 everyday,” said Jaylen Robinson ’18. “Our ultimate goal is bringing another trophy to Midwood, but we know we can’t do that in March or April, so we have to focus on what’s at hand.”
Daniel Lentini ’18 said, “Going to Florida gives us a chance to get in more practice than we would be able to if we stayed in Brooklyn. The trip allows us to bond, and get much needed practice that will help us be successful during the season.”
Mr. Saverio Nardone helps prepare the boys for the season by taking them down to Florida, and gradually getting them back into game shape with various drills, and game speed practices.
“Many of the boys had an opportunity to work out on fields before student athletes of other baseball programs in New York City,” said Mr. Nardone. “I feel like we’re more prepared now than ever to compete for a city championship.”
For many seniors, this is their last season playing high school baseball, and they want to go out on top. Still riding the high from last season, many seniors want to end their high school careers just like the seniors from last year, with a championship.
“It would be great to go out a champion,” said Nick Cardieri ’17. “To repeat what we did last year isn’t going to be easy, and we’re going to have to work hard to stay on top.”
The team is committed to their goal, and hope to band together, work hard, and produce another winning season to defend their title from last year.
“At this point, everyone has the same goal,” said Robinson. “It’s a lot harder to beat 22 guys working towards one goal, than 22 guys trying to do different things for themselves.”
The team’s first regular season game is on March 28 at 4:30 p.m. against Tottenville. It is a rematch of last year’s championship game where the Hornets defeated Tottenville 3-0. Tottenville will be looking to avenge their loss last year, and the boys will be trying to do what they did in the championship last year, win. The game will be played at Tottenville’s home field.