Coping with an unpredictable illness, Joei has learned to appreciate the lessons life has to offer.
Last season's highlights:
Last year was a very successful season for Pingry baseball, as the team was named co-champions of the Skyland Conference/Mountain Division, with a 10-2 record in the division, and finished the season with an overall record of 15-10. Among other highlights, they also won the annual trophy game over rival Morristown Beard (8-3) in April, and celebrated a 4-0 shutout victory by Jack Laurent '17 over division rival Gill St. Bernards in May. Big Blue was led by a core group of five seniors: captain Joe Possumato, Jack Laurent, Zach Keller, Spencer Spellman, and Miles LeAndre. Joe was selected to the Courier News All-Area First Team, the first Pingry player since Dan Keller '12 to earn such recognition. He, along with Jack and Zach, also earned First Team All-Skyland Conference-Mountain Division honors. Clyde Leef '19 and Nate Hefner '19 earned Second Team honors, and Spencer earned Honorable Mention.
What to watch for this season:
• This is a year of transitions for Big Blue baseball, with Dean of Students Jake Ross taking over the role of Head Coach from Ted Corvino '94, who served from 2007-2017. In addition, the team will look to fill the spots of the five graduating seniors, as well as catcher Clyde Leef, who is missing the season due to injury.
• This year's team will be led by co-captains Max Scherzer '18 and Nate Hefner '19.
• Returning players to watch include pitcher and three-year letter winner Michael Weber '18, as well as two-year starting outfielder Nate Hefner '19 (.303 BA last year) and short stop Matt Lee '20, who anchored Big Blue's infield defense as a freshman last year. Other returning contributors include third-baseman/pitcher Max (.292 BA last year) and senior outfielder/pitcher Jeremy Lister (.333 BA last year). The catching position will be in the hands of Ryan Smith '19, who will be backed up by Henry Cohen '18 and AJ Weaver '18. Other returning seniors include outfielders Graham Matthews and infielders Jared Tiggs, Will Raincsuk, and Jacob Gruber. In addition to Michael, Max, and Jeremy, the pitching staff will be rounded out by two talented sophomores, Tyler McLaughlin '20 and Thomas Wolf '20.
• As for goals this season, the team aims to defend its Skyland Conference/Mountain Division title, as well as repeat victories over Morristown-Beard and Gill St. Bernards.
"Although we have a number of seniors this year, we are a young team in terms of varsity experience, so we will be relying heavily on our captains Max Scherzer and Nate Hefner. Personally, I am excited to take over a program that Coach Corvino has done such a tremendous job building. It has been a tough March weather-wise, as we have only been able to get on a field for three of the first 25 days of the season. With a little luck, the surfaces will dry out and we can get to work. Our goal is to compete in every game and every at bat."
Contact: Andrea Dawson, Senior Writer, email@example.com