As the winter season begins to wind down, athletes are excited to get spring sports under way at Jefferson Township High School. One of the sports generating enthusiasm and excitement for the upcoming season is varsity baseball. Following a stunning state semi-finals run in 2018, the Falcons will attempt to prove their worth once again.
“Last year we got hot at the right time,” senior infielder Justin Randzio stated. “We went in to the state tourney as the 13 seed, but we were playing really well and kept it going. This year we should play that way all season.” Randzio was part of the 2016 state sectional championship team for the Falcons and hopes to have that experience rub off on the team. “Playing since freshman year and building a unit has definitely helped us as a team in past years, and I just hope we can bring that back again this season.”
The Falcons’ starting lineup took a hit after last season with the departure of four seniors who were a major part of the team’s success, including pitcher Steve Breeman. “Steve was a big loss for us, but Rosko, Foth, and Sully should all be able to take on some of his innings this year,” said coach Jason Kalish. “I expect a lot out of the team this year, and expect to compete in every game.”
Two of the pitchers Kalish mentioned also commented on the pitching staff and the upcoming season. “I’m just trying to be myself,” stated junior Zach Roskowsky (Rosko). “Although I’m in a bigger role this year, I have to keep doing what I’ve been doing my whole life when it comes to pitching.” Senior pitcher Luke Foth, who has the most pitching experience for the staff, said, “I’ve learned from my past years and feel I’ll be able to make a huge mark on the younger and newer guys, which will hopefully help them contribute.” Regarding his focus this off-season, he added, “I worked a lot on velocity. I’ve gained about seven miles per hour on average and hope that will translate to the field.”
Opening day for the Falcons is April 1. The team plans to take a trip down to Fort Pierce, Florida, on March 19 to prepare for the season. “Florida in past years has helped us get work in before the season,” noted Kalish. “Up here, we only ended up getting two or three scrimmages in, so to go down there and play eight games against terrific competition is awesome.”
When asked what the team expects to accomplish this year, the players had two goals in mind: To win states, and to win their conference. The combination of both young and experienced players may be the perfect recipe to hang up another banner back in J-Town.