March is officially upon us and with the ushering in of the new month comes the start to the high school baseball season. Ridgewood’s baseball team has, for the most part, always been a relatively successful program; however, in recent years the program has experienced substantial success. Two years ago the team placed second in the North I Group IV championship and last year took home the title. With a target on their back, Ridgewood looks to repeat in 2018.
However, past success does not define a team with each coming year, it is what the team can prove this year that will define them. With a plethora of players departing the team after their senior year last year, the school’s baseball team must fill the vacancies left by their former teammates. Junior center fielder David Kleiman received questions on the matter. When asked how the loss of so many key players would affect this years team, he was not worried, explaining, “although the core group of players who brought success to the team over the last two years are gone, the players who look to replace them have extensive varsity experience and won’t skip a beat, leading to a seamless transition.”
As the tryouts for the baseball team wind down, the team prepares for their annual trip down to Florida. This trip serves as a chance for the team to not only escape the snow and play a few games before the season starts in April, but also to build the overall team relationship. Kleiman reiterates this when stating, “baseball requires a strong team relationship in order to be successful and the Florida trip is a great way to accomplish this.”
Taking a step back from the varsity team, the freshman baseball team received a new coach this season: Ridgewood High School’s very own Doug Aday. Freshman year for any sport is an exciting time for the freshman to represent their school for the first time and showcase their talents. After losing in the championship last season, the freshman team looks to improve upon their successors’ success.
The junior varsity team, coached by RHS math teacher Adam Scevola, is also looking to rebound after falling short in the Tri-Conference J.V. baseball Invitational last year. The new sophmore and returning junior players will look to bring Coach Scevola his first Tri-Conference championship and the school’s first since 2007 when Dr. McNamee, another RHS math teacher, coached the team.
Students can support all three of Ridgewood’s baseball teams all season long as the Varsity team plays their home games at Vets field and the freshman and junior varsity teams call Somerville their home turf. The schedule for these games can be found on the high school’s website.
Graphic: Andrew Olson