Boys Varsity Baseball Works to Overcome Tough Schedule in 8A Division

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Jessica Small, Sports Editor

For the Boys Varsity Baseball team, competition is everything.

“I’ve always looked forward to playing at the high school varsity level. It’s definitely the most competitive team I’ve ever played for and it’s taken the most seriously,” Mitchell Goldhaber, sophomore, said.

Since the program began in 1998, it has gone through a lot of changes. The team dynamic seems to transform each year.

“We lost a lot of senior talent, so this is a rebuilding year. Hopefully we can succeed,” Jacob Aqua, junior, said. “We are a good team that our record (5-7) doesn’t represent. We have one of the toughest schedules in the 8A division.”

To overcome these challenges, the boys dedicate a lot of time to practicing, year round.

“We have fall ball for a couple of months in the fall, but that is like a practice league for our spring season,” Aqua said. “We are expected to play in the summer for travel teams in order to get recruited to play at the next level.”

In season, the schedule is even more demanding. Between practice and games, basically all free time is dedicated to the sport.

“It’s around 24 to 25 hours [of practice and games] every week. It’s definitely a lot, but I think it’s worth it to be a part of a successful program,” Goldhaber said. “We play an average of two to three games a week.”

From spending so much time together, the team has become very tight knit.

“Playing as a team is extremely important to winning games,” Goldhaber said. “I think we’re very close, [that’s] probably one of the best aspects of our game.”

Peter Rivera, a senior at Wellington and a signed player for next season’s Miami University Baseball Team, agrees.

“The chemistry between the players has been incredible,” Rivera said. “Even in the worst situations, everybody stays focused and stays up.”

To keep the boys in line, Coach Riddle mandates how the team trains. He has been the Varsity head coach for about ten years, and has been a major influence in the baseball program for even longer than that.

“[The coach] definitely has a big impact on the team. He sees things that we don’t necessarily see during the game, and he works with us on those things during practice, so we can be game ready and competitive,’ Camilo Rodriguez, junior, said.

The competitiveness of the team is one of its biggest motivating factors. The boys hope to improve enough throughout the season, so that their record will reflect their ability.

“[Our] short term goal is to try and go out there, and win every game we can,” Rodriguez said. “Our long term goal is definitely winning districts, and then hopefully going all the way and winning states.”

Wellington High School is proud of the Boy’s Varsity Baseball Program’s accomplishments so far and wishes the team luck in future games that will bring them closer to achieving their goals.

 

Photo Credit: Jared Tosner is up to bat. Photographer- Cheryl Turner.