By Mathew Engler ’18
The 2017 Wreckers won the team’s first State Championship in over a decade. This season the team looks to regain their winning ways; however, it won’t be easy with them losing many key players. Despite key losses, the team is poised to make their mark on the FCIAC and the state this season led behind an abundance of senior leadership and youth talent.
The team has spent the offseason getting ready for the upcoming season. “We have been doing alot of work over the offseason to get the team ready to compete for another title,” Steven Frost ’18 said.
This year’s team lost seven seniors from last year; three of them are currently playing in college. But the Wreckers still have 11 seniors who are looking to lead the team to even more success. Chris Drbal ’18 and Matt Stone ’18 were both all All West Division players, and Max Popkin ’18 was an honorable mention.
“As a captain, I am trying to make sure everyone is a part of the team. Last year a large part of our success was due to the sophomores and juniors production,” Stone said .
Drbal, another captain, has a similar goal. “Something I have certainly been focusing on is team chemistry. The group of kids on the team are all great, and it has been really easy keeping everyone close,” Drbal said .
While many look to seniors as the main leaders of a varsity sport team, junior Chad Knight ’19 also shows his leadership abilities being the only junior captain on the baseball team. Knight was an All State selection last year, one of two Staples players to receive that honor, and is committed to play baseball at Duke University. Knight pitched in the state finals last year, and will continue to be a key pitcher and leader for the Wreckers. “For me personally I just can’t wait to get back on the field both in the batter’s box and on the mound. I can’t wait for another great Staples baseball season,” Knight said.
Each of these players, along with the rest of the seniors, will be the backbone of this year’s team. The underclassmen recognize what these leaders bring to the table, and with their guidance, could become major contributors for the Wreckers. “The captains and seniors help us throughout the season by setting the right example on and off the field […] When the leaders on the team make the goal clear, it is easy to all be on the same page,” Griffin Kass ’19 said.
This season’s schedule is full of exciting matchups for the Wreckers. Games to watch out for this season are Staples v Wilton at home on April 16, Staples at Westhill on April 30 and Staples at Ridgefield on May 7. The Wreckers start their season with a home opener against Masuk on April 4.