Baseball’s spring season of hope


LaBelle Staff

Junior Derek Fravel

Eric Fenstermacker, Reporter

“Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is a common song heard by fans of baseball around the world. However, this song takes on a whole new meaning this year after many teams lost their season last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of these teams, the Bellefonte Raiders baseball team, is looking for a chance to continue where they left off.

This season has been challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic and weather, as Coach Jon Clark said in an interview.

“In the first part of the season, we were moving along nicely and getting into a routine and regular (pitching) rotation. Then we were shut down for a week due to COVID and that paused the season and moved some games to later in the season…Following the COVID shutdown, the weather took a turn and made it not only difficult to get games in but also to practice, so we lost the routine and (pitching) rotation,” Coach Clark said.

While the struggles mounted, Coach Clark still saw some good things coming out of the season. He believes this team is special because of the players.

“They have remained committed, flexible, and have had great attitudes throughout the season and the bumps along the way. I have really enjoyed working with this group. They are the first group I have been lucky to have four years with, and with the loss of the season last year, just being out there and playing ball has been pretty awesome,” he said.

As Coach Clark praises the team, many of the players agree with him on the fact that it has been a difficult year, but they refuse to let it get the better of them. Senior Nick Capparelle explained why he enjoys this team so much.

“It is a very fun team to be a part of and the coaches will make you a much better player and person. Our season has been pretty good so far although we’ve struggled with a few things, but I’d say we’re on track to accomplish most of what we set out to do,” Nick said.

With the struggles this team has faced this season, a fan would believe that they would lose sight of their ultimate goal: a district championship. However, players and coaches alike believe that all the hardships they have come across are only making them stronger as they prepare for the playoffs. Senior David McAndrew knows that this team will achieve the goals they have set for themselves.

“We have a great team filled with players who are all about winning and all about the team’s success,” David said.

As the team prepares for a deep playoff run, Coach Clark believes they are in prime position to win the district championship. With a busy schedule to finish the season, he only sees the team improving.

“We want to prepare ourselves for the playoffs by continuing to compete down the stretch as we finish up a busy two weeks of the regular season. Due to the nature of our last few weeks, we will be putting guys in some different positions to challenge them and at the same time doing so against a number of quality opponents (playoff-caliber), so we had better bring our A-game,” Coach Clark said.

With the playoffs drawing near, the Raider baseball team is keeping their eyes on their district championship goal. While the team knows they have room to grow, they continue to fight on and believe that this year will be one to remember. With a deep playoff push on the horizon, this team is ready to strike. Roll on, Raiders.