SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports Special

April 10, 2013

Salem 2013 Spring Sports Previews

BASEBALL

Last year’s record: 11-10 (Lost in Division 1 North first round)

Head coach: Paul Caron (First season)

Key Returnees: Ben Kapnis, Sr., 1B/P; Emilio Beato, Sr., 3B; Cody Mercier, Sr., IF; Greg Spelliotis, Sr., OF.

Strengths: Pitching and defense. The Witches know they can rely on Kapnis after his breakout junior season, and the squad also has very good corner infielders, especially with Beato in the mix.

Concerns: Run production. Salem graduated a big bat and a rock behind the plate in Teghan Malionek; on-base machine Jenssy Troncoso was also lost to graduation, so look for Mercier, Spelliotis and Beato to carry the load in the heart of the batting order.

SOFTBALL

Last year’s record: 3-16

Head coach: Dan Bertone (10th season)

Captains: Sam Mento, Sr.; Joanna Coleman, Jr.; Hannah Wilkins, Jr.

Key Returnees: Desiree Martin, Soph.; Rachael Zipper, Soph.; Katherine Towey, Soph.; Sydney Hanford, Soph.

Strengths: Quick and athletic players figure to have the Witches active on the basepaths and in the field.

Concerns: Salem is still a young squad and needs to come together as a unit.

Coach’s Outlook: “We started to blend together a little bit towards the end of last season, so we look to continue that and take each game one inning at a time. We’re hoping to improve and get to the next level.”

BOYS LACROSSE

Last year’s record: 9-10 (lost to Franklin, 11-3, in the East Div. 1 preliminary round)

Head coach: Anthony Nardella (1st season)

Captains: Alex Veloukas, Sr. D; Mitch Osgood, Sr. M; John Kapnis, Jr. D.

Key Returnees: Matt Wilson, Sr. M/faceoff; Jack Coelho, Sr. M; Billy Muse, Sr. M; Mat Muse, Jr. A.

Strengths: Senior leadership. Nardella wasn’t hired until just before the season began, but the captains and seniors helped organize the offseason workouts, which made the new coach’s transition seamless. The Witches are senior-heavy on defense and on the first line of midfielders, and Nardella expects to rely on them considerably.

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