Varsity Baseball Attends Florida Spring Training; Returnees Look To Captain Church ’05 As Leader

With hopes of a strong team, united in their love of the game of baseball Coach Andy Cline and assistant Tom McGraw will continue their long reign of coaching the team joined by Tom Kane who will replace last season’s assitant coach Herb Sturges. Pitcher Thomas Church ’05 will take the helm as captain. After minimal practice time before spring break, the baseball team took advantage of their time off with a trip to Coco Beach, Florida. Though inclimate weather altered the beginning of their spring training, the team played a total of six games. In these games, a strong foundation for this spring’s team was established. As with most baseball teams, Andover’s key to success this spring is their pitching. As the number two starting pitcher last season, Thomas Church ’05 should bring the team leadership, experience, and great success this spring. Chuch has command of his movement in the strike zone and control of his great curveball and he will certainly put up great numbers this spring. Returning pitchers from the 2004 season Jamie Durkin ’05, Matt Boylan ’05 and Justin Schaefer ’05 hope to land starting positions after pitching in relieving roles last year. New to the team this year are Post Graduate pitchers Denys Levin ’05 and Joeseph Funari ’05. After pitching extensively at Belmont Hill, Levin promises to be a huge boost to the squad with fast balls reaching 85 miles per hour. With offensive prowess, Andover’s line up looks to devastate opposing pitchers. Playing outfield and shortstop last season while leading off the batting order, Steve Rolecek ’05 brings speed on the base paths- a place he will find himself often with the high batting average he is capable of. Spending most of last season as the number two batter in the order, Tom Dignard ’06 brings a big bat to the line up with power, a high average, and speed. After going zero for two in the first game in Florida, Dignard ended up seven for ten with a double and several runs batted in. Returning players Andrew Geraghty ’05 and David Giller ’06 also hope to pad their batting stats throughout the season. Hoping to bring a strong defense to each and every game, Andover will rely on Graham Gilbert ’05 to take control of the games from behind the plate. Bringing great range and strong arms, Schaefer, Geraghty, and Funari will all log regular time in the outfield. Many positions in the infield are still up for grabs, However, last season Rolecek showed his ability to play a strong shortstop. Dignard established himself as a second baseman and Church will surely retain his position at first. It is still early in the spring the team has not been completely decided. The new players will certainly add skill and enthusiasm to the team. Saturday Andover will play an exhibition against Nobles. It will be an opportunity for the team to show their skill and potential for a winning season this spring.