All bases covered: Boys’ Varsity Baseball’s hopes for the season

by Riyana Goel (’26) | March 31, 2023

Photography by Paige Allen (’23)

The Saint Francis Boys’ Varsity Baseball Team has proved that winning is a habit. Last year’s team finished the season with a formidable ranking of third in the state—an impressive feat given that California is definitively the best state for high school baseball. The team finished the year by winning CCS and fell short of winning the NorCal Final by just a single point. 

However, even after coming out on top against the most skilled contenders in the nation, this year’s team is not ready to rest on its laurels. In addition to daily practices, the team has been training hard at a facility called Confidence 2 Succeed. Third-year varsity member and outfield player Derek Gile (’23) recounted the team’s preparatory work before the spring: “Preseason was mainly weight lifting and getting our arms ready. [We were] going out to the field and hitting together for batting practice, throwing, [and] doing individual work for our positions.” 

Along with an impeccable work ethic, the team has a strong sense of discipline that is honed by their coaches. Under the leadership of Head Coach Matt Maguire (’98), the team strictly lives by a principle they call “Bulldog Time.” Outfield player Roman Trinidad (’24) explains, “‘Bulldog Time’ means that five minutes early is ten minutes late. Basically, we have to be there 15 minutes before the actual start time to be [considered] ‘on time.’”

While hard work has been crucial to the team’s triumphs, shortstop player Luke DeVine (’24) believes the key to the team’s success lies deeper than just training. He uses his experience as a second-year varsity player to note, “Last year, I think the main thing that set us apart was team chemistry. All the guys loved each other, which made it easy to go out there and play. I think if we can build a really good team environment, we’ll be extremely dangerous again this year.” 

After losing fourteen seniors last year, DeVine’s emphasis on building a good team dynamic is reasonable since fifteen of twenty-five players on the current team are first-year varsity members. Gile elaborated on how this shift has affected the team: “Our playing style has definitely changed because we have a whole new set of players. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to be worse. That just means that we need to find our own identity as a team. We have a lot of good tools, but we’ve just got to figure out how to use them.” Third baseman Brent Valentine (’24) agreed adding, “We have the talent and potential to be really good.” 

As the team works to find their rhythm, they look towards defending their CCS title and also winning CIF. When asked about their hopes for the season, the boys unanimously agreed that they want to “win CCS.” In preparation for working their way around the bracket a second time, these Lancers are first focusing on finding the right team dynamic and playing style, and then growing into that identity with confidence. DeVine reflected on how the season has been progressing so far: “Once we start heating up offensively, we’ll be a hard team to beat. We’ll find it eventually. We’re still finding our groove, but we have what it takes. We just have to put it together.” 

Like DeVine, the rest of the team is confident that they can succeed this season. After all, it is the team’s bold attitude that has brought it this far. With exceptional players and coaches, the Saint Francis Boys’ Varsity Baseball team has a reputation that precedes it as one of the best teams in the nation. The boys are prepared to uphold that title and fight till the very end. Jedd Chang (’24) echoed this sentiment, saying, “The only way to go from here is up. We’re just going to get better, and we’re going to win.”

Categories: Sports

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