Spring Into Action with CHS Boys' Spring Sports

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Considering that the spring season started with snow on the ground, the spring sports teams have come a long way to finally be able to play in shorts and a t-shirt. Now that it is the end of April, it is a good time to catch up with each boys' team and see how their seasons are going up to this point.

Baseball has been having a rough season so far this year. The team is 2-14 right now, and lost in the first round of counties. Also, it is unlikely that they will qualify for states. Since this is Coach Ascolese's first year as head coach, he brought a new philosophy to the team this year. "We want to be very competitive everyday, and that hasn't changed as the season has progressed," he stated. He keeps this mentality in practice as he works with the boys on everything from team defense to hitting and individual work. When it came to the Chatham- Madison game, where the team gained their first win, this was particularly important because it was a very competitive, back and forth game. "There was a lot of pressure from the opportunity to gain our first win in that game since we had been working for a win so badly," Ascolese remarks about the game. There are some players who have really made an impact and are helping the team improve. Pitcher Mike Bazzani is the top hitter on the team with a batting average of .488. Jack Hale, a starting pitcher, and Logan Loeloff each have an ERA below 3 and have helped the team's defensive game. In addition, shortstop Chris Bredahl is the leadoff hitter with a batting average of .326. Even though their record doesn't show it, the team is working hard to improve everyday.

The spring track team has undoubtedly seen much success. The team has had many talented runners turn over from their winter track and cross country seasons this year and that puts them in a great place to have a strong record. Liam Hynes, a sophomore who is consistently contributing to the team in the 1600 and 3200 M races, spoke with the Chronicle about how the team clicks. "The track team is a very competitive group of kids who work hard each and every day in order to get better, whether its workouts or going on distance runs together." Hynes went on to talk about how they have an upcoming NJAC Championship taking place on May 6 and 7 and a "Frosh-Soph" meet on the 10th, where Chatham's top freshman and sophomore runners look to defend their championship.

The boys' lacrosse team has been more successful than the girls' team so far, and they hope it continues into the postseason. After being State Champions for Group 2 last year, the team is 10-5 and is a huge threat being ranked #9 in the state and having many amazing players. For example, Rich Berger leads the team in assists and David Gill, Austin Pierce, and Will Barnett are all big contributors to the team. The team has been working hard and it shows in the way they have been able to beat difficult teams and hold their ground in games, even if they lose. Going into counties ranked #3, they hope they can win it all and have a repeat in states.

The golf team has just qualified for the state tournament with big wins over both Mendham and Mount Olive. The team is sitting at a 5-3 record and that is thanks to a nice blend between veteran leadership and young talent. Freshman Alex Chin has filled the big pre-season expectations and through the 8 matches holds a scoring average of just over 41. Patrick Byrnes, Sam Miele, and Matt Gentile are the returning starters from last season and each has come up big throughout the early season. Byrnes, recently named captain, fired an even-par 36 to kick-start his senior season and Gentile shot a 38 to clinch a win and the team's place in the state tournament. The Cougars had a disappointing showing in the Morris County Tournament and came away with a 6th place finish, however. The team stays eager for the rest of the season and hopes to make a run at their sectional and state tournaments.

Tennis has been doing quite well, considering they have faced some hardships going into this season. The team lost many seniors from last year, but the boys still manage to hold a 6-10 record. Captain Max Brown explained, "It's a really new and relatively young team with a lot of first time varsity players. So, considering that, we're not too bad." The team didn't do very well in counties but that could because the team has had very few practices. Many times, they will have 4 matches a week, leaving only one day to work on skills. When they do have practice, the team either does challenge matches or drills focused on a specific aspect of the game. Captains Max Brown and David Grosh are both starters and bring leadership and energy to the team. Brown plays 1st singles and Grosh plays 3rd singles. Along with these players, there are many other starters including Harrison Tognola who plays 2nd singles, Sean Maltby and Nick Barbey who play 1st doubles, and Mark Pump and Phil Glaessner who play 2nd doubles. With many new players, there is a lot of potential for improvement this season going into states and in seasons to come.