The key word for the 2014 Staples baseball team? Confidence.
The current iteration of the renowned and largely successful baseball team is coming off a season where the team made it to the quarterfinals in the state playoffs, its best finish in several years. And now, with many starters returning, mixed in with exciting new players, the season looks bright for this experienced and confident team.
“I feel positive vibes for every practice this winter,” outfielder Mike Moritz ’14 said. “I see young talent stepping up, I see seniors pulling their tools together for one last go round on the varsity squad…We’re all putting each of our games into 6th gear and we are going to march across the fields we play on and win,” he said.
Others echoed Moritz’s unbridled enthusiasm.
“The bar is set high this year as we expect to win two championships this year. Right now I think we’re the team to beat and until we lose that’s the belief we all have,” catcher Adam Dulsky ’14 said.
“I think we have a great chance to bring home the first LL state title in school history,” he added
“We’re all very confident and excited as we head into the new season,” infielder and captain Nick Vega ’14 added.
The team’s strengths include its depth, which starting pitcher Carmelo Vallone called the most he’s ever seen while he’s been at Staples.
“We have an extreme amount of depth, especially on the hitting side,” Vallone said.
Additionally, with several returning starters, the team will be more likely to handle the obstacles thrown at them during the season, according to head coach Jack McFarland
“Last year we had a lot of players on the field for the first time. This year we have a lot of “big game” experience under our belt,” he said. The “big game experience” that McFarland refers to is the state quarterfinal game that the team played in last year – the farthest Staples baseball has ever gone in the state tournament.
The only weakness, perhaps, is not so much a weakness, but more of a problem that every Staples baseball team goes through in the past few years, according to Vallone.
“Every year there is a four or five game stretch where we don’t play well,” he said.
However, `Vallone believes that with the team’s unprecedented depth, this won’t be an issue this year.
“I believe we will avoid that stretch this year because of our depth,” he said.