The Salem News
---- — 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.
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.”
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.
Concerns: Finding the right pieces. Everything has gone well early in Nardella’s first season, but he is still learning about his team every day. His biggest job is making sure his players are on the same page and that all the pieces are together.
Coach’s Outlook: “I think we expect to make the tournament year in and year out. Anything less than that would be a little bit of a disappointment. The seniors talked about being the first group to win a state tournament game; we hope to do that, as well as win the NEC South.”
Last year’s record: 1-15
Head coach: John Robinson (5th season)
Captains: Tahmid Raji, Sr., singles; Aidan Scrimegour, Sr., singles.
Key Returnees: Alex Carvajal, Sr., doubles.
This season will be successful if: The Witches play up to their potential on the courts and knock off a few favored squads along the way.
Last year’s record: 8-8
Head coach: Pat Hicks (4th season)
Captains: Catherine Majeski, Sr., singles; Marlena Udden, Sr., doubles; Kim Barzola, Sr., singles.
Key Returnees: Ari Gaffney, Soph., singles.
This season will be successful if: The Witches continue to get better every single day.
Last year’s record: 3-4
Head coach: Gary Lavoie (4th season)
Team captains: Jared Louf-Woods, Sr., Shot Put/Discus; Nick Thelen, Sr., Mile/Javelin; Jon Crimble, Sr., Long Jump/200.
Key returnees: Ben Sattiewhite: Sr., High Jump/200; Conner Duncan, Jr., Javelin; Aaron Palmer, Jr., 110 Hurdles/100; Emilio Beato, Sr., 800; Anand Patel, Soph., Distance.
Coach’s outlook: “All around this team is the strongest I ever coached in Salem. If the boys stay healthy and work hard we could have a very good season. Distance events, jumps, and throws are all strengths.”
Last year’s record: 1-6
Head coach: Rich Stafford (18th season)
Key returnees: Joy Lima, Sr., Sprints/Jumps; Natasha Demers, Sr., Shot Put; Katie Panneton, Sr., Discus; Morgan Rogers, Sr., Jumps; Shannon Tucker, Sr., Middle Distance.
Coach’s outlook: “We have good senior leadership along with a lot of freshmen and sophomores that are new to the sport. This will be a growth and development year.”