By: Mariyana Van Arsdale and Katie Tzivanis
Jamesville-DeWitt High School’s Varsity Baseball Team is said to be a strong competitor this year. This may be because they’re the closest they’ve ever been, bonding through everything from outdoor basketball games to ping-pong tournaments. Another factor is the 13 returning players and the nine seniors on this year’s team. They think their chemistry is what will lead them to a good season. “We have the best comradery of any team in JD history,” said senior Matthew Cappelletti, captain and shortstop of the J-DHS baseball team.
Since the majority of the team is made up of seniors, they are extremely close due to the number of years they have played together. The team spends much of their time together and they often go out to eat as a team. “Taco Bell…we love Taco Bell,” said third baseman senior and pitcher Casey Kretsch. “We are looking for a sponsorship from Taco Bell, we actually called up their headquarters,” said first baseman and senior Andrew LeClair as he joked with other teammates.
With a 15-game winning streak last season, the team is confident they will go far this year. “We are ready to string together a 21-game regular season win streak and become state champions,” said Cappelletti. So far this season, the team has played Mexico and walked away with a 7-1 victory. One of their toughest competitors is Camden, who they lost to in the first round of sectional playoffs last year. On Thursday, April 13 they will face Camden at home.
The Jamesville-Dewitt High School Varisty Girls Softball team has won sectionals the past 11 years. This year, nine of the 11 players are returning to the team, giving room for many new members to make their mark. As the only senior on the team, shortstop Makenzie Keeler is excited for the season. “I have been on varisty for five years in a row and I am most excited for this year because of the new players and the leadership role of being captain,” said Keeler.
They credit past success to team chemistry and their ability to work fluidly on the field. The team bonds by spending 30 minutes every day after practice talking to each other, which they call “team time.” They also eat one meal per week together outside of practice. “I love team time, it gives our team the ability to bond on a more personal level,” said junior catcher Taylor Roadarmel.
Jeff Cantor, who is in his second year as head coach, expects success even with a challenging schedule. “If we get better everyday, this could be a very special season,” said Coach Cantor. He forsees a 12th sectional win with his team this year. “I think there will be strong pitching between Amanda and I this year,” said sohpomore pitcher Shayna Myshrall. The team started out their season strong with two decisive wins, one against Homer 22-0 and another against Mexico 12-1. In Section III, there are few teams that pose a challenge for varisty girls softball. The team is so skilled that they schedule tournaments and games to play larger sections that will give them a challenge. On May 4 they play Auburn at home, which will be a tough opponent this season.