CHS baseball players, coaches discuss game plan for the 2018 season


Apurva Manas

The varsity baseball team practices together in the fieldhouse in preparation for their upcoming game. The team was in action for the first time this season on March 21.

Adam Spensely, Reporter

After earning a 23-3 record and  being named the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference (MIC) champions during the 2017 season, the CHS baseball team has a new focus for the 2018 season. Fifteen seniors from last year’s team have graduated and left the program. After losing 15 players, the team now sees finding new leaders and gaining experience as their top priority. Both players and coaches realize the importance on emphasizing this newfound goal.

Head Coach Matthew Buczkowski said he thinks it will be hard to replace last year’s talented senior class.

“We graduated 15 guys. Thirteen of them went on to play college baseball, and six of them were Division I guys,” he said. “You don’t get a chance to get those classes very often, let alone turn that over into something similar the following year.”

Jack Van Remortel, returning starter and senior, said the baseball team will have to find a new identity for this year’s team.

“We’re going to be a young team—there’s not a ton of experience. I think it’s going to make us a really hungry team that’s going to have a lot of excitement from the younger guys. As they come along, I think we’ll be a tough team at the end of the season,” Van Remortel said.

With a generally young team, the Greyhounds will have to find new players who are willing to step up and lead this year’s young group. Garrett Drake, junior varsity player and sophomore, said he is expecting a few guys to take the lead.

“Jack Van Remortel is going to play a big role for us this year. He’s a great leader and you can really see why he is going to play in the Big Ten—the way he carries himself, during practices he never takes reps off and he is always going 100 percent,” he said. “We’re expecting big things from our two catchers, Tanner Simmons and Ethan Pryor, at the varsity level, so hopefully those guys can help out the team,” Drake said.

According to Buczkowski, the team will find out who the leaders are starting with offseason training and workouts.

“In the fall, I think a lot of leadership is going to establish itself in the weight room and during our strength and conditioning program where guys are going to start to step into those roles. We’re going to have vocal leaders; we’ll have leaders that don’t necessarily talk that much but lead by example, so those guys will start to establish themselves throughout the offseason,” Buczkowski said.

Van Remortel said there are some things he needs to work on in order for that to happen.

“I think the big thing for me is being more vocal. In the past, I’ve been able to lead by example, but I’m kind of one of the more quiet kids, so I think this year as a senior it’s my job to be one of the vocal leaders. I want to put it on my shoulders to try to make everybody better around me,” Van Remortel said.

Aside from personal growth, Drake and Van Remortel will have to work on overcoming other challenges as a team. Buczkowski said he agrees that there will be some big challenges for the team this season.

“I think the biggest challenge will be experience and just pla

ying together, just like a lot of teams, how quickly they’re able to gel and come together. Last year’s team was just so talented that a lot of times we won 12-0 and it was kind of a yawner, so these guys are going to have to show grit and come back and win some games,” Buczkowski said.

Van Remortel said he also agrees with Buczkowski and his 

view on the team.

“I think you have to go back to the inexperience; it’s kind of tough to lose so many guys and having to replace so many great players from last year, but I think all the younger guys are ready to step up to the task,” Van Remortel said.

Drake said he feels the same way.

“I think the team’s biggest challenge is going to be building chemistry, for one, and using each other to really have a good season,” Drake said.

Despite the lack of experience going into the season, Buczkowski said he thinks the returning players will do just fine.

“The guys that we have returning are talented guys, they just don’t necessarily have that varsity experience. They have experience with their travel ball clubs and things like that. We just haven’t necessarily seen them at the varsity level,” Buczkowski said.