Baseball and Softball Teams Given More Opportunities as Their Programs Grow

With their seasons soon approaching in the spring, both softball and baseball teams are making moves this offseason.

Photo Courtesy of Nike
Photos courtesy of Nike Varsity and JV returners work hard during their workout at the “Get Out Here” Nike promotional event, pictured above, to gain condition for the spring season, working as a team to both motivate and hold each other accountable.

Vanessa Gonzalez '17 and Jonathan Nunez '16

Involving athletes with world-renowned brand names is a key attributing to their success. However, many are not given the opportunity to experience a high caliber in athletics.

Both the baseball and softball teams have been able to participate in training sessions this off-season. The baseball team works out twice a week with professional trainers. In addition,  they get to use the new state-of-the-art facility above the Jordan store, which was made possible by their varsity coach Dave Rosene, along with the awareness of Jones baseball as a top program in the city.

“The executive director of the facility is from Chicago and knew Coach Rosene. He has respect for him as a coach and invited the baseball team to train there” said athletic director Frank Griseto.

While the baseball team continues to work out at the Jordan facility, the softball team only had one professional training session. Also associated with Nike, the “Get Out Here” promotional event contacted varsity coach Amy Heveran for her reputation as the leader of a “well-organized softball program within the city.”

“I liked seeing the girls work really hard, and I think they were really receptive to being challenged. It was a great way to get together in the offseason to prepare us to work together during the coming season” said Heveran.

Pitcher Sydney Pilarczyk ‘17 expressed pure excitement of being part of the first few people to experience the “Get Out Here” program.

“It was a great bonding experience and brought the team closer as well as giving us an edge over some of the other softball teams that don’t have these opportunities” said Pilarczyk.

The baseball team’s reaction towards the training has been universally positive as well.

“Not many schools were given this opportunity, and we need to make the most of it in order to be the best we can be when the season starts. This year will not be easy and we all need to give it our all in order to perform at a high level” said Ethan Soderna ‘17.

With the baseball season coming up, the team is aware of how beneficial these workouts will be for them. In past seasons, they were never given such opportunities. Thus, the team recognizes that this could be the best pre-season preparation they have ever had.

In addition to creating new physical challenges for the athletes, each of the programs have expanded to fulfill the needs of its players.

According to Anyssa Arceo ‘15, coach Heveran helped steer the program into a whole new direction.

“It was clear that before Amy, the program was not well organized or taken as seriously as it should’ve [been]. She got us involved in tournaments and got us team gear and advocated for more parent involvement. We moved out of the lower division of our conference and started playing more difficult teams, and we were able to compete and win back-to-back regional championships” said Arceo.

Jones’ baseball program has also grown enough to guide multiple players towards competing at the collegiate level. In the past, the baseball program has never been able to prepare for their season at such a high level.

“It’s nice to see the program growing. When I was a freshman, we didn’t have access to training facilities like the team does now. Even if I am not a part of the team anymore, it is self-fulfilling to know that I helped shape Jones baseball into what it is today” said Jones alumni Luis Gomez ‘15.

Both sports have grown significantly over the years. The present opportunities will only lead to more growth for each program.

“I have always believed that representing your school is very important. The more we get our name out there as a school, the more opportunities we get,” said Heveran.