Seahorses Try To Erase Losing Past On the Ballfield
Far Rockaway pitcher Walter Diaz is by nature a confident baseball player. What he also has is a burning desire to win and at times, his buoyant nature can at times come off as cocky.
But after two seasons of back-to-back 4-12 campaigns, Diaz is trying to end his high school career on a high note. If he believes his confident nature can spread as a positive effect towards his teammates, then losing can hopefully be a thing of the past.
So far, the Seahorses have got off to a winning note. Diaz pitched a one-hitter and allowed two runs in a 12-2 Far Rockaway victory over Campus Magnet last Tuesday afternoon.
Diaz also had a good day at the plate, going 3 for 3 and knocking in three RBI. Far Rockaway improved to 2-0 and though it is still early in the PSAL Queens B South campaign, Diaz thinks his team has the ability to compete. "It's ok for us to win and be happy.
I'm used to wining. The losing stuff is not feeling me," Diaz said. "We're winning. This is what I like. This is what I'm used to."
Leadoff hitter Gregory Ibe, who can play catcher and the infield, along with Jonathan Alifonso, are only a few of the players who also return from last year.
Far Rockaway has a lot of new position players even though the majority of the squad is seniors. Clifford Pitter and Daniel Marc Sears are playing left and rightfield respectively for the first time. Diaz can admit that his talkative nature at times may rub opponents the wrong way. Far Rockaway coach Thomas Telford wants Diaz to show that confidence, but channel it in a way that doesn't get viewed as taunting or combative.
Telford, in his third season as coach and a teacher at Frederick Douglas Academy, is trying to build a good program like the one he was involved wit for years at powerhouse Monroe High School in the Bronx.
Telford is doing the best he can to teach his players how to win. Even with limited practice time or instruction, Telford ran extra baserunningdrills after the 11-2 victory. Telford will do that to make his team better.
"You might hear me yelling on the baselines but that's just to wake them up. That's just me anyway. I just yell," Telford said. "I'm that kind of guy. I hope they can pick up a few more wins. Let's see what happens."
Lady Flippers Start Anew
Stella Maris didn't get off to the best of starts in their home opener last Monday afternoon. Christ the King softball pitcher Danielle Esposito threw a 1-hitter as the Lady Royals won 14-1 at Fort Tilden.
Lady Flippers coach Jim DeAngelo isn't about to panic just yet. What he has is a young squad with only one senior, Patrica Klein, and a freshman pitcher Tina Callanan, who started against Christ the King.
"It's a relatively new and young team that's just starting to work together. I have only four players returning. I was happy with all of them," De Angelo said. .
The core of the team that went to the Brooklyn-Queens city title game four years ago have all graduated. DeAngelo is trying to again build a contending team, but it will take time.
"We had our time on the top but it's like a circle. All teams go through this. We will be back on top. Next year they will all be together. If we play well, we have a good chance next year."
Sanders Lifts Trophy
Jermaine Sanders, a 6-5 sophomore, hoisted his first New York State Federation title as the Rockaway resident scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds to help Rice High School win 70-68 over Newburgh Free Academy last Sunday.
Dolphins Record Victory
The Beach Channel softball team recorded their first win of the PSAL Queens B-1 season by defeating Robert F. Kennedy High School on 11-9 on March 31. Christina Salinas pitched a complete game victory and catcher Janiece Hill had 4 hits and 3 RBI for the Lady Dolphins.
The victory for the Dolphins was the first since May 22, 2006 when they defeated William C. Bryant, 4-3. Beach Channel recorded consecutive 0-16 campaigns the next two seasons in the A Division before dropping to the PSAL B this year.