Focusing entirely on having the perfect swing is not always the most important aspect to becoming a great ballplayer. Monique Roberge, star softball player for Queens College, found that out early in her college career.
“I feel that my mental focus has been the biggest improvement for me,” said the junior from New Hyde Park. “I’m big into sports psychology. In high school I didn’t have the same mentality that I do now. I’m able to tame myself,” she added.
The number two ranked Adelphi Panthers Women’s Lacrosse team has gotten off to a fast start to their 2014 season and show no signs of slowing down. Head Coach Rob Grella, entering his third season at the helm, has led his team to an impressive 7-0 record to kick off their campaign. Six of the Panther’s first seven games have been won in commanding fashion in which they have outscored the opposition by a staggering margin of 122-14.
He may be soft-spoken and humble, but Farmingdale State’s ace pitcher Mike Dolce makes it difficult to have his statistics ignored. The 6’4” Smithtown native has emerged from relative obscurity to become one of the most effective Division-III pitchers in the nation.
“I actually was not being recruited by any schools coming out of high school,” said the pitcher who currently carries a 1.00 ERA. “Farmingdale was the only division-III school I applied to and I knew the assistant coach at the time. I figured my best bet to play college baseball was at Farmingdale and I could not be luckier that I made that decision,” he concluded. Dolce attended St. Anthony’s High School where he played primarily first base and occasionally pitched. He had a tough decision to make when he came to Farmingdale.
Baseball might be a game of inches, but not for Levittown outfielder Jon Cruz, who is looking to launch the Dowling College Golden Lions up a couple of light years. Recently named ECC player of the week, Cruz said that his ideal career would be to become an astronaut. How’s that for lofty goals?
Dowling is off to a terrific 9-6 start, much of it due to Cruz’s torrid hitting. Through 15 games, Cruz is leads the Golden Lions, with a with a .404 average [18 hits in 45 at bats], and is second in the entire ECC. He also has an unbelievable .491 on-base percentage to accompany it, which he attributes primarily to one improvement he has made.
If baseball is dying among the adolescents in the nation, Ray Negron doesn’t want to hear it. Negron, a special assistant to the New York Yankees is committed to providing young kids the opportunity to excel in the game of baseball through his baseball clinic which are taught by professional players.
“The goal of the clinic is to teach kids to love the game of baseball,” he said. “People forget what’s it’s about. From the era I’m from—which includes Mickey Mantle and Bobby Murcer — learning from them is what it’s about. Teaching that to the kids of today is what it’s about for me,” he added.
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