While snowpack and consistent cold weather kept Proctor’s varsity baseball team from playing their first game of the season until Friday, the team’s spring training trip to Florida and access to the school’s artificial turf have given the group significant field time this spring. This year’s team is deep in talent, and while there may not be a superstar on the roster, Coach Mark Tremblay is very optimistic about what lies ahead, “We have a group of guys who really love the game. Never before have I had a group who, from the top to the bottom, are so determined to improve. They compete every day, stay focused during drills, and are receptive to feedback and coaching tips. The team has tremendous potential to compete with the best in the league this year.”
Friday’s season opener with Vermont Academy will prove to a good litmus test as the team dives head first into the next five weeks of games. Senior co-captain Sam Barrett, who returns to the diamond for the first time since sophomore year after rehabbing a knee injury last season, echos his coach’s thoughts heading into Friday’s matchup with Vermont, “Our team is focused this year on a singular goal: to compete in every game we play. Our spring training trip to Florida was great, since we got to play five games against great competition. We have great momentum in our program, both at the varsity and junior varsity levels, and that is exciting to see.”
After graduating five seniors last year, Tremblay is excited to see veterans step into leadership positions and to see some of his younger players emerge as consistent contributors. He notes, “Sam Barrett is happy to return to the field in a big way after his knee injury, and will be stepping into the starting shortstop and captain positions. Connor Tedesco ‘14 appears to be a wall at third base in the early going, and will offer up a solid bat. Warren Albert ‘15 will start the year in center field and provide the squad with speed and experience.” Tremblay adds, “Co-captain Alex Sprague ‘15 will lead a promising group of pitchers on the mound, including Austin Cohen ‘14 and Reid MIller ‘15. Three year varsity members Garrett Finn ‘15 and Hunter Luhmann ‘15, will provide power in the middle of the lineup. Young sophomore stars Christian Takahashi, who received an early season call up from the JV last year, and Mitchell Curry, a new member of the varsity team, will contribute significantly in the outfield.”
The variety of positions each player can play will prove a huge asset for Proctor this season. John Monteforte ‘15 is a new member of the team who looks to help in the infield and at the plate, and Calvin Johnstone ‘15 will serve as a utility man, pitching, playing outfield and first base. Peter Laviolette ‘17 will be serving a bit of a swing role between JV/Varsity and will be another key utility man as a pitcher/catcher/1B/outfielder with solid fundamentals.
While the varsity roster is filled with talent, the program’s depth on the junior varsity level is equally exciting. Tremblay notes, “Determining this year’s team was one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever had to make. There are a number of young prospects who are knocking on the varsity door, and it will be exciting to see their continued development over the course of the season.”
With enthusiasm and optimism, the team will travel to Vermont Academy Friday afternoon before playing Hebron Academy on Saturday. Both Barrett and Tremblay note how well the team gels together, but this group has its eyes set on far more than good team chemistry, “We have the talent and determination in this group to have a great season, and we continue to set our aims on winning a Lakes Region championship!”
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