Boys Varsity Baseball Rebuilds With New Coach and Players
By AFIA EAMA
With an influx of new players and a new coach, the boys varsity baseball team has been rebuilding this season.
Senior Aaron Santos, who has played with the Bulldogs for three years, is determined to help create a cohesive new team.
According to Santos, new players must have a lot of willpower and endurance in order to adjust to the challenges of playing varsity. “So they better be in it for the long haul,” said Santos.
The team’s new coach, Ms. Owens, said she was already impressed with the players’ focus on the field.
“So far, they [the players] are great,” she said. “They show dedication, which many players lack.”
Despite their commitment, the Bulldogs lost against rivals Life Sciences Secondary High School and High School of Info & Network Technolgy in their first few games.
They face Bread & Roses Integrated Arts High School and Fannie Lou Hamer next week, where they hope to regain momentum toward a playoff spot.
Besides making it to the playoffs, Coach Owens wants to “build a team where the players remember how much they enjoyed the season and can look back on good times.”
Marc Rosario, sophomore, has been playing with the boys varsity baseball team alongside Santos for two years.
He praised Coach Owens and said she “knows what she’s doing.”
Since the team started practicing in March, Santos has helped guide new members who haven’t played at the varsity level before.
After playing most positions, including base running and fielding, Santos began pitching last year.
He finds that the position suits his personality.
“Pitching is really cool because you get to be in control of the whole game,” he said, “and I love having control over situations.”
Last year, coached by Mr. Weltman, the Bulldogs ended their season with a 6-8 record.
“Aaron pitched two huge games at the end of the season to put [us] in a position to make the playoffs,” said Coach Weltman.
However, the Bulldogs’ last two games got rained out and were not made up by the PSAL, so the team never had the opportunity to make it into the playoffs.
Coach Weltman praised Santos for contributing his skills and passion to last year’s team.
“Players look up to Aaron because they know how good of a player he is and how much he wants to win,” said Coach Weltman.
“He’ll most likely be the hitter with the highest batting average [this season],” he added.
Santos, in turn, has the utmost respect for Coach Weltman because of how he supported the players on and off the field.
“He was like my mentor,” said Santos.
This season, about 50 players showed up to baseball tryouts.
Only 21 players, however, made it because they were hardworking and always came to practice ready to play.
“We are looking forward to how the season plays out,” said Santos. “It’s a matter of learning from each other [rather] than focusing on our own statistics.”