By: Anna Torok
James Caldwell High School sports have been far from normal this year, but with the easing of the pandemic and vaccine roll outs there are huge ambitions for the 2021 Chiefs Baseball season. Off the field, the team is staying COVID cautious in order to avoid becoming another sport that has crumbled due to an outbreak. For the most part, normal protocol has ensued. They are only required to wear masks while on the bench or in close contact with one another. Bussing has changed because varsity and junior varsity now attend games separately in order to maintain a safe distance. Luckily, the season is supposed to remain mostly unaffected.
While avoiding any issues with COVID, the boys are chugging along in hopes of a winning season. The team predicts they will go well over five hundred. The team had two scrimmages in the preseason and won both. Sophomore second-base mand and outfielder Lorenzo Sozio impressed the crowd going five for seven with two doubles in the scrimmages. Seeing such young talent already make waves is exciting–Sozio is going to be one to watch in the upcoming years.
The young talent continues with junior Nick Bergamotto. This shortstop is often the star of the show and is truly making a splash in Caldwell Baseball. He is known as the best hitter on the team and already has multiple division one offers.
In addition to Sozio and Bergamotto, the upperclassmen have bright futures. The seniors include: Owen Ayers, Dylan Hirshorn, Zach Hirshorn, Ryan Lil, Ethan Cavallo, Stephen Holler, Matt Sarrell, and Jake Maayan. Lil and Ayers are committed to play division three baseball for Misericordia University in Pennsylvania. Sarrel, who was supposed to be in the starting lineup, injured his right wrist earlier in the year which has sidelined him from the season. He aims to return mid May. Despite the injury, Sarrell has plans to walk on for division three baseball at The University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.
With three games now under their belt, the team is 1-2. “This rougher-than-expected start should not be taken as a sign for what the season has to hold,” says Sarrel. He remarks that the team is coming to play with vengeance this year since they missed out on last year’s season. It is especially important for the seniors to bring their A game to make up for lost time. The first game of the season was away against Verona. The home opener was against Newark Academy. Their most recent game was against the tough, well-coached Millburn squad at Millburn High School.
Even outside of Caldwell, Chiefs baseball has exciting news. 2020 graduate, Ryan Sanderson, began his season at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania on March 13th. He remains an outstanding pitcher, leader, and representative of the Chiefs program as a whole. We wish our very own the best of luck with the rest of his season.