Patriots hope to replicate banner year
It might be difficult for Freedom to replicate the type of success they had a year ago, but the Pates will certainly look to make another run at the league and district titles this spring.
Coming off a 19-5 campaign, which saw them go 12-4 in the East Penn Conference regular season, to go along with their first EPC championship, expectations are elevated for the 2016 spring.
Head coach Nick D’Amico enters his 11th season at the helm and hopes that the loss in graduation won’t overshadow the potential of this year’s returning group.
“We lost a lot of experience but we have a lot of talent coming back,” said D’Amico. “Our season will depend on how well we handle the pressure.”
Returning players back for the Pates include Tommy Bonilla (Sr, 2B), Evan Callahan (Sr, 1B/P), Jake Petro (Sr, 3B/SS), Teddy Liadis (Sr, C) and Alec Huertas (Jr, 3B/1B/P).
Huertas and Callahan give the Pates a dynamic one-two punch on the mound, but after suffering knee injuries during football and wrestling season, Callahan’s health may be a question mark all season.
“We are not sure right now,” D’Amico said of Callahan’s status for the season. “He is rehabbing and we hope to have him, but I’m not sure he will be at full capacity all year.”
New players in the fold for the Pates are highlighted by seniors Blake Fontaine, Andrew Flynn, Austin Schneck, Cain Cabrera, Joe Young, Austin Negron, Steve Vander Schafer and Tyler Cooper. Juniors include Tim Healy, David Smith, Jonathan Mateo, Griffin Connelly, Andrew Knerr, and Echau Caban.
“We always look to improve on the previous year,” D’Amico said. “We want to win the division, league championship and districts. We will need to fill a lot of spots from last year but we have the talent to do that.”