Baseball program struggles to field strong teams

Both boys’ junior varsity and varsity baseball teams work hard but face difficult teams.

For many athletes at Curtis, the arrival of the spring signals the beginning of sports.  This is especially true for both the boys’ junior varsity (JV) and varsity baseball teams.

With a current standing of two wins and seven losses, the JV team members are not doing as well as last year, according to Coach Charles Massara.  Out of 19 players, there are only two returning from the previous year – sophomores Joshua Soto and Andrew Maldonado. The remaining 17 are all freshmen.  Five of these freshmen, including Jonathan and Justin Strandberg, Jonathan Guash, Juan Luis Doran Martinez, and Jonathan Fanizzi, are starters in the team lineup and so far have contributed the most.

For everyone on his team, Coach Massara’s goal is “to get better everyday.  If they’re better on the last day of the season than the first day, then it was a good year,” said Massara,  “hopefully they’ll be ready to play for varsity next year.”  His plan to prepare and improve the players includes lots of practice, which is held Monday through Saturday every week.

Unfortunately, the team’s opportunity to play every game and finish off the season strong has been stymied by Port Richmond High School’s two forfeits. “Any time the team can’t play, there’s less chance to get better,” said Coach Massara.  Attempting to find other teams to compete with, the Warriors played against CSI High School and won.  This, along with other games, has shown “signs of improvement” according to Massara, who also cited the tough game they played against Wagner High School.  Although the Warriors lost 1-0, they still put up a fight.

Meanwhile, the varsity baseball team maintains a record of 2-16  with only 13 team members.  Coach Anthony Formica said, “The team is performing below expectations and has not been comparable to years past.”  Despite this, he still accredits several team members with being outstanding players; sophomore Anthony Lozada, junior Michael Lacause, and senior David Aponte.

According to Christopher Sorensen, a senior who has played on the varsity team since his sophomore year, “The team has had a rough start with the schedule, which hindered our momentum going into the season.”  This refers to the shaky game schedule that played out in the beginning of the season, with Curtis unable to compete against MSIT, Petrides, and Susan Wagner because the games were postponed or suspended.  The Warriors’ only wins were 6-5 win against Port Richmond at the Port Richmond field. and a 6-3 win against Petrides on the Curtis field.

“Looking forward our goals are to look past our missed opportunities, to look at those past games as learning experiences rather than misfortunes,” said Sorenson.  “Even on a personal level I’ve felt like I’ve missed opportunities where the team relied on me and I need to focus on the next opportunity . rather than dwell on the past.”