By: Rachel Graziano –
Working extremely hard to prove everyone wrong this year, the Seton-La Salle baseball team has amped up their practice schedule to a minimum of two hours every day after school. Last year, the Rebels went 7-6 for their overall season, and were runners-up for their section. The team has been predicted to repeat last year’s section standings behind rival Keystone Oaks High School.
“They are definitely our biggest competition. It’s kind of ironic because our schools are located on the same street,” Junior and three year starter Nick Krugh says, laughing. “It makes it really exciting not only for the players but for the fans as well. Their skill level is high so it will be a tough competition,” Krugh adds.
Most of Keystone Oaks’ lineup will be returning this season, unlike the the Rebels who lost three of their starters from last season to graduation. Danzel McKinley-Lewis, a main contributor to the 2015 Rebel’s successes, says, “I’m not worried for the team. They can do it. They are a very talented group of guys, they just need to want it.”
Center fielder Lewis led the team offensively with a .515 batting average, 19 runs, five doubles, three triples, and 11 RBIs.
The Rebels experienced another major loss during the off-season, Senior Liam Sweeney, due to a life threatening neck injury that has taken him out of all sports permanently, will not play baseball with the Rebels this year. Sweeney obtained a batting average of .476, 14 RBIs, three doubles, and three triples during last season. Clearly, another lost key to the Rebel’s success.
However, the team will benefit from six returning seniors,, and five juniors that have played since their freshmen year. “The experience is there. They just need to play smart and work hard during practices. I’m excited for them,” Sweeney stated.
Seton-La Salle is predicted to make the playoffs again this year. With dedication and hard work, The 2016 Rebels are hoping to win their section, make it to WPIAL, and prove the predictions wrong!