Spring athletes wake up after prolonged hibernation


Prasham Jobanputra

Head Coach Rick Torresani hugs his assistant coach, Ellie White, as the Knights celebrate their win.

Many senior athletes are to be considered the most experienced, well handled, and overall most developed members on the high school roster. This year, however, high school rosters will be stacked with seniors who are first-time varsity athletes and/or ones that are expected to deliver with large amounts of playing time.

But a significant amount of them are jumping from their sophomore season on junior-varsity to the limelight as seniors on varsity–which can be a lot of pressure for this years’ athletes when considering none of them got to show what they could do during their junior season.

“It feels like I didn’t get a chance to prove myself and I’m sure everyone else feels the same way. This team has the least varsity experience out of any previous team, but it’s really the year where we can show what we can do,” North Penn baseball player Jeffrey Sabater explained.

It feels like I didn’t get a chance to prove myself and I’m sure everyone else feels the same way. This team has the least varsity experience out of any previous team, but it’s really the year where we can show what we can do

— North Penn senior Jeffrey Sabater

Last year’s spring season started as normal: athletes got to try out for their respective teams, rosters were set, and even some pre-season games were played. Students eventually received the infamous message from Mr. Nicholson in their eighth-period class that the school was going to be shut down and everyone had to quarantine.

But for the North Penn baseball team, they were at the Jackie Robinson Complex, the spring training site of the Dodgers in Vero Beach, Flordia. High school teams from around the country go there for a week on a spring training trip for practice, scrimmages, and early season games. They were there for about a day or two and were forced to come back due to the shutdown.

“After my junior year, it was really mentally draining and I lost all motivation for anything over quarantine. But my teammates got me back in the gym to work hard consistently to prepare for this season,” Sabater said.

Sabater is one of the thousands of athletes that faced the dilemma. A junior season, for many, is the time where most athletes make the jump from JV to Varsity. Having that opportunity stripped from them, and teams not allowed to practice and be together leading up to the season for most of the year, a lot of catching up was to be done in an aspiring players’ free time.

“Lots of working out and hitting during the offseason, but what I’ve improved from my first year playing varsity baseball is my mental game. I’m a lot more composed, disciplined, and confident with a bat or glove in my hand,” Sabater further explained.

Track and Field is an outlier when discussing the spring season last year. Although those athletes didn’t have a season, the returning ones did get an early head start for this spring through Winter Track. Nonetheless, those athletes did have to sacrifice a whole season where, normally, they would increase their athleticism, timing, and overall team building.

“During the winter track season, we worked hard and pushed ourselves every day. I just never took practice for granted; the thought of losing the sport I loved was always in the back of my head. I also realized I have to put in a lot more work to get back to where I was as a runner. So I would go to the gym and lift on my own some days during the week. Even though I didn’t have a spring season last year I think our coaches worked really hard to get us a good winter season and that will definitely prepare us for a great outdoor season,” senior Track and Field runner Jayme Corrado said.

Even though a majority of seniors this upcoming season have little to no experience on a varsity roster, there are a few exceptions. Take Mady Volpe, for example, someone who has been on Varsity Softball since her freshmen year. A lot is expected from her–from delivering during games to being that mentor to some of her teammates that don’t have the experience she has.

“I plan on helping the team by just having fun and staying relaxed. So far at the workouts, everyone has been really positive and upbeat while playing. Playing a team sport is not only about having talent but also chemistry and I believe that this year’s team has that. I am so excited to see how far our team can go this year,” Volpe said.

It goes without saying that this year’s spring season will be a tough one for all of North Penn’s teams and it will be interesting how coaches and captains intertwine with the reality of leading a roster filled with inexperienced players to forming team chemistry.