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From 12-4 to 4-12: The iSchool/Chelsea Lions varsity baseball team fall from victory

Junior+Robert+Rodriguez%2C+Captain+Christian+Wilson%2C+and+Coach+Joe+Munoz+at+a+game.
Junior Robert Rodriguez, Captain Christian Wilson, and Coach Joe Munoz at a game.

Junior Robert Rodriguez, Captain Christian Wilson, and Coach Joe Munoz at a game.

Junior Robert Rodriguez, Captain Christian Wilson, and Coach Joe Munoz at a game.

Philip Borkowski and Derek Rodriguez

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“Strike Two!” the umpire announces as the hearts of the players race and the crowd cheers on. The smell of hot dogs and pretzels fill the air, and people from different backgrounds come together to support their local team and enjoy the game.

Baseball is not just a sport. For some people, it’s a culture and a livelihood that you are a part of and could be apart of you for the rest of your life. Former baseball player for the Cincinnati  Reds, Pete Rose, once said that he’d “walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball.” When your favorite team or the team that you play for starts to have a difficult season, it could hurt you in ways you would have never thought..

The iSchool/Chelsea Lions baseball team did not have a spectacular season this year, with a record of 4-12 lead by coach Joe Munoz. Various players of the team, including freshmen Lucas Scharankov and Thomas Giordano, juniors Brian Natera and Danaury Toribio, who will be next year’s captain, and Senior captain Christian Wilson, had somewhat similar views about the reason for such season.

Lucas Scharankov was a pitcher who could also play first base and center field.  “I think [the season] could have gone a lot better, but we just didn’t have the chemistry to get there.” He believes that if the team trained with each other more and gained more chemistry, the season wouldn’t have ended as it did.

I think we all could have played harder, and a little less fighting and drama would have been nice.” According to him, the teammates were somewhat dysfunctional with each other. Scharankov believes that he played very well for a baseball player in his grade, “This was my first year as a Lion, and  I batted .306 or something like that. Plus, I really enjoyed myself and that’s very  important to me personally.” He hopes to come back sophomore year with a bang.

Thomas Giordano played as catcher and the right field position for the 2016-2017 lions. According to Thomas, the team should have won more games than they did. He said that, “We lost lots of games that we should’ve easily won, we are a much better team than this.”

As most freshmen, Thomas did not play as much. This lack of minutes on the field did not stop him from observing the problems occurring in games. “Some of our teammates needed to show up more to games, also we needed to communicate more when on the field.” He believes that the Lions have made a lot of in-game mistakes as well.

A junior of the iSchool, Brian Natera, played pitcher and the 3rd base position for the lions. Like the other players, he believes that the team could’ve been so much better. “This year we slacked a lot, we could have won more games but everyone was in their own little world.” In his opinion, the team should’ve had a lot more practice sessions than it did:  “I believe the key is teamwork and having more contact and talking to each other because we made a lot of error, and it was like, really bad.” Having more practices would have helped develop the teamwork and chemistry they needed to have a successful season.

The Lion’s 2016-2017 season started in the beginning of the spring season, with their first game on March 30th against School of the Future. However, the team did not have a great start. The team did not improve as much as the season went on. However, they did have a somewhat stronger season than the 2015-2016 Lions, who had a record of 3-12. Despite this slight improvement, the team still landed last in their league standings.

The most recent successful year was during the 2014-2015 season, with the Chelsea lions having a record of 12-4. Brian Natera said that “We had great ball players, we had all the seniors that were playing. They were really good and now they’re in college still playing really good.”

The 2016-17 team captain,Christian Wilson, played as a sophomore during that season. He explained that, “back then the whole team cared about baseball and the team and this season only some people cared about it.” When asked about when those seniors left he said, “It kind of hit us hard, we went from a 12 and 4 team to a 3 and 12 team because of that.”

Next year’s captain,current junior, Danaury Toribio, has a somewhat similar perspective about that season’s team. “That season we had a lot of players that have had experience in baseball and have bigger baseball IQ then this year.” When asked about being the next team captain, he seemed excited yet determined at the same time. “I plan to have practices more and take this role as if I’m the coach of the team. I will work my team until they drop to the floor to make sure they are ready for the season.”

Winning isn’t always possible, and the iSchool has been in a drought for the past 2 years. They had their moments of glory, blowing out teams or winning close games against other high schools. Yet, as time goes on, as we all have learned from a young age, there’s only room for improvement.

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From 12-4 to 4-12: The iSchool/Chelsea Lions varsity baseball team fall from victory