Momentum builds for the Dukes baseball team as it grows closer together and new players add a spark of intensity that might ignite the region.
Coach Carmello Rodriguez says, “There will be a 50% increase in wins, making this the best season in years.”
Coaches and players alike would agree that it takes a number of seasons for players to form the bonds necessary to reach their true potential. If that is true, we can expect to hear only the best about the 2010-2011 team in the future.
The Dukes have a long road of hardships ahead. Playing in Region 19, which is, as the coach says, “the toughest region in the nation”, can have its disadvantages, especially for an athletic program that is less than 13 years old, and for a coach who has only been head coach for 2 years.
However, boasting such an increase in total wins is a true testament to the faith he has in this seasons’ team. Last year, the Dukes had four Carpenters Cup players, and with the addition of two more this season, rivals such as Atlantic Cape, Gloucester, Camden, and Brookdale had better not underestimate the newly revitalized Dukes. With rising numbers in local recruits, along with an anticipated increase in local fans, support for our Dukes should grow.
One of the newcomers on the team is Anthony Carabello, a player who used his phenomenal power to become the most scouted player in the region.
Other local players expected to make an impact this season are: Steven Costa, an all-conference player from Egg Harbor; Anthony Parker, an all-around athlete from Vineland High School; Santo Cintron, an outstanding left-handed pitcher from Vineland High School; and finally, Stanton Tentonowski, a versatile outfielder from Highland High School.
One of the major goals for the team this year is to make it to the Cocoa Beach Expo. near Cape Canaveral in Florida, where they will compete against an array of division two teams. Coach Rodriguez describes this tournament as an essential bonding experience that gives the players a chance to form long term friendships that will last a life time, overall increasing the level of teamwork and efficiency.