Raiders Have A Pair Of Aces In Thomas, Cerrato
There’s no shortage of pitching on the Enfield roster and that should once again put the Raiders in position to compete for the state tournament.
Seniors Justin Thomas and John Cerrato will look to continue their dominance on the mound from last season. The pair combined for 13 of the Raiders’ 16 wins, with Thomas striking 99 batters in 64 innings to go along with a 1.27 ERA.
Cerrato will play third base when not pitching, and Thomas, who led the team with a .480 batting average and six home runs last year, will see time in the outfield.
They’ll be joined by classmates Tony Romano, who should make an impact on the mound, and catcher Dan Critz, who’s entering his fourth year behind the plate for Enfield.
Also back for the Raiders are leadoff hitter and second baseman Avery Boissy and his double-play partner Tom Meskell.
Critz, Thomas and Cerrato will serve as captains for a team that graduated four starters.
“We need to work hard every day,” Enfield head coach Jay Gaucher said. “Nothing will be given to us.”
A two-year playoff drought could come to an end this season if Enfield can improve its defense and receive steady pitching through the season.
Head coach Albina M. Belisle graduates four starters from last year’s 4-15 team, but returns several key players, including pitcher/first baseman Dallas Fonck, a three-year starter who has improved and is much stronger entering the year.
Taylor Maier (catcher/shortstop) is a good athlete with versatility, while Kristen Serafin will see time on the mound and in right field for a young Raiders team.
Enfield had a strong turnaround season in 2011, going 13-6 and making the tournament after winning just three games the year before.
“I have a lot of faith in my players,” head coach Judy Joslin said. “They are physically and mentally strong.”
Senior captains Tyler deMontigny, Hugh Lindo and Kevin Camidge all return for Enfield.
DeMontigny has experience running the offense through his setter position, while Lindo has picked the game up quickly entering his second year on the court. Camidge was effective off the bench last year and is a strong passer.
Jason Xiong adds experience at both setter and outside hitter, while Kyle Maynard will see time at outside hitter after seeing sparse varsity time last season.
“We have really experienced setters to run our offense,” Joslin said. “Players coming off the bench last year have really stepped up in their position as starters this year.”
Enfield enters the season with a solid blend of experience and youth. Sprinting events once again should be the Raiders’ mainstay, despite the loss of Andrew Buanno in the 4x100 relay.
Head coach Todd Cunha said this year’s team has more underclassman than they’ve had in the past, but still boasts a group of veteran athletes that have had success on both a league and state level.
Senior Kyle Casey competed in the state open in both the 400 and 200 meters and will team with Nick Bevilacqua as part of the 4x100 relay that won the NCCC championship and made it to states last year.
Freshman Tyrik Henry and junior Shaq Jessop should round out the 4x100 relay team, according to Cunha.
Seniors Reece Williams (pole vault) and Ryan Sadosky (shot put) each qualified for the state meet in their respective events.
“We are looking forward to developing our younger athletes as well as setting challenging goals for our veterans,” Cunha said.
Enfield doesn’t have a great amount of depth in both the middle and long distance events, and will need scoring from the 800 meter and up to stay competitive in the NCCC.
First year head coach Todd Zenczak inherits a relatively inexperienced team entering the 2012 season. Top returners for the Raiders include Ryan Zetterholm, Brenton Buchotz, Mike Knapp, Spencer Rancourt, Will Lloyd, Evan Boissy, Nick Varner, and Brendan Lemeire. The Raiders possess a strong putting game, according to Zenczak.