Spring has finally come, and high school baseball has arrived with it. The boys in blue have been back on the diamond for almost a month now, starting preseason on the 9th of March. Captain Jerret O’Connor, junior, said that preseason “was a cold start as the weather was pretty bad during in the beginning, but we didn’t let that stop us, because we were offered to practice in the gym. We have a lot of new and young players who I am hopeful will make a good impact, so I think we will have a lot to look forward to during the season”
Amid the loss of influential seniors like Captain Charlie Howard, Captain Jack Holgate, Maxx Cunningham, and Dylan Laredo, the team has since rallied together to fill in spaces left open by the alumni. The torch has been passed from Charlie and Jack down to Junior captains Jerret O’Connor and Kai Ottani. Captainship was passed down from senior to sophomore at the end of last season, which is generally unconventional throughout Nantucket High School sports. Kai Ottani had this to say on the team’s hopes for the upcoming season: “we wish to improve upon the seriousness of the team, being more focused and playing the game better than we did last year. This is somewhat of a growing year for the team so we really want the new players coming up to improve throughout the season.”
The team has welcomed many new players since the beginning of the season between upper and underclassmen alike. The large presence of freshmen among the team gives hope to the future of the sport at NHS reversing a trend that had seen roster numbers decline for the past couple seasons. Kai Ottani said that new players “Riley Williams, Shane Hanlon, and Wilmer Pineda are looking like they could be great contributions to the team, filling up spots that our team desperately needed players for.”
Playoffs are on the mind of all athletes this spring, but especially among the baseball team, as the team was the only spring sport that failed to make a playoff run last season. The team has set goals in order to adapt to the high-performance level that will be seen in playoffs. Hopefully, these goals will be met throughout the season, as long as dedication and sportsmanship are kept up throughout the duration of the season. The boys played their first away match versus the Monomoy Falcons on Saturday, April 6th.
By Charlie Clarke