As the Red Sox prepare for their next season in sunny Florida, the high school’s baseball team prepares for their season in the snow. Both teams have similar goals of winning big this year, and a whole host of new players on the school team are looking to make that dream a reality.
The only problem standing in the way of the team is all of the snow that is covering the athletic fields. However, the team plans to work around the snow to find other ways to practice before the season starts.
The team has been able to have batting practice in the batting cages inside the gym, as well as pitching practice with artificial mounds. The team has also been using the Sprague Field turf as well as the New England Ruffnecks turf field, where they plan to scrimmage other teams.
“The snow is certainly a challenge, but challenges keep things interesting, and we will find a way to get around it,” Said team captain Jack Dolan.
Another challenge that the team will face is that they lost ten seniors to graduation and a freshman to private school, the team will be overhauled this year with the exception of two returning players: Peter Stabnick ’15 and league MVP Jack Dolan ’15. Dolan and Stabnick will also be the captains this season. Dolan is very excited for his role as a captain this year. “It is a great honor to be named captain and represent my town,” he said.
Even though the team has different players than a year ago, Coach Rob Kane wants Raider fans to keep an eye out for Brad Marchetti ’16, Harlan Binder ’15, Ghiho Gihm ’15, and Conor Himstead ’15.
Coach Kane embarks on his ninth season as head coach, and he is looking to build on past success. Last season the team went 18-5 and lost in the south semis in the state tournament. Every year Kane has been the coach the team has advanced to the state tournament.
One of Kane’s favorite parts of coaching the team is “being able to prepare players for success on and off the field,” he said.
Coach Kane’s players admire him for his dedication to the team. “Coach does what he thinks will put the team in the best position to win, and he takes accountability when it does not work out for him,” said Stabnick. Dolan agrees: “Coach Kane really comes around. He really is a good baseball guy and coach. He is great for the team and his immense success shows up in his record,” said Dolan.
Kane said his goals for this season are to win the Bay State Conference, advance to the state tournament, and win the state championship. These goals are not at all far-fetched for the team. According to Dolan, “There are a lot of capable guys who did not start last year that will put us in the hunt,” he said. Stabnick added, “Jack and I need to get on people and make sure that they step up.”
With a fence as far as Fenway Park home run hitting is quite a feat, but it is expected that there will be several homeruns from Dolan, Stabnick, Gihm, and Marchetti.
The team is looking to have a great season, and Stabnick is looking forward to his favorite part of the season: “I cannot wait to see all of the hard work I put in during the offseason to pay off,” said Stabnick.
After playing together at the high school, next year Dolan and Stabnick will both go on to play with each other for four more years at Tufts University.
(Dillon Hourican ’18, Staff Writer)