Town: Midway/Garfield Ridge
College: Fairleigh Dickinson University
“First off, I’d like to thank all the doctors, nurses, first responders and essential workers for their tremendous help in helping individuals with COVID-19.
“It has been a crazy time since the lockdown has begun. There was nothing I wanted more than to throw on the jersey and battle for a state championship one more time with my brothers. I have built so many lifelong relationships that it is upsetting to me to know that I’ll never get another chance at a state title.
“St. Laurence baseball has helped mold me into the man I am today, and I cannot be more grateful. I’d like to thank all of the coaches, Coach Pete Lotus, Coach Adam Lotus, Coack Nik Siple and Coach Matt McHugh for their dedication to the players. There was not a day the coaches did not give us their undivided attention.
“St. Laurence was a second home to me. I loved lifting weights with my brothers in the morning, walking to classes with my best friends and putting on the uniform after school to go to battle. Coach Pete wants nothing but the best for each of his players, and he will not stop teaching until we are better men and ballplayers in the end.
“We practiced like winners, went to school like winners, lifted like winners, and that is what Coach Pete wanted. He wanted us to have the winning mentality, to be different than others. It didn’t matter if it was a board game, dodge ball or a state playoff game; we wanted to win.
“I believe that is going to be the hardest thing to step away from St. Laurence, but I will carry for the rest of my life and hope to inspire others to be the same, to have the brotherly love and desire to win at everything you do. The cancellation of the state tournament affected us greatly, but we stayed strong together. We continue to practice via Zoom, and Coach Pete continues to inspire us and give us knowledge daily.
“My favorite memory is the supersectional win against De La Salle last year to go to state. I threw a complete game, but the joys and cheers from our fans were unlike anything I ever imagined. I was extremely focused and couldn’t hear a chirp during the game.
“I remember Coach Pete telling us to fight and not give in. We did just that. We came together as one, and it was special to watch as we battled to get runs across the board. We didn’t take a pitch off. I believe that.
“When we walked it off and all ran onto the field, it hit me; this is why I came to St. Laurence, to win. As I looked at the fans cheering, it got silent. I could see everyone jumping up. Once I started to hear the screams and cheers, there was no place on earth I’d rather be.
“That’s what is so hard, knowing the senior season is called off. Not being able to feel those exact feelings with my teammates, not being able to compete against great high school teams, not being able to have team breakfasts on Saturday. I’ll forever love St. Laurence baseball, and everything it has taught me.
“I’d love to have a potential Senior Day this June. Wearing the uniform one more time for my high school, lacing up the cleats and being able to play the best game in the world is a dream right now. I look forward to continuing my education and baseball career at Fairleigh Dickinson and hope to continue to show what I’ve learned.”