"We're undefeated, my pitchers haven't given up a hit, and I haven't made a wrong decision, yet." Those are the words of rebel varsity baseball coach, Neil Gederberg. Of course, that was said in the middle of March and the season had yet to begin.
But there is optimism for the upcoming campaign. The school has renovated the entire field and added a breakaway outfield fence. Gederberg starts his third season as head coach. His staff will include first year assistant Ciro Ambrosio, a former shortstop in the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
Last year the Rebels were 16-2 while playing in a developmental league. This year, they have moved up a notch into Division B-1. South will compete for a playoff spot against the likes of Calhoun, Hewlett, New Hyde Park, as well as a strong south side team and perennial favorite MacArthur.
The Rebels return seven players from last year's roster. IF/OF Francis Lindo was named All-County after hitting .537. Dave Castellano, awarded with All-Division honors in 1997, will head the pitching staff. Infielder, Doug Klein also hit over 500 last season and brings his hot bat to the middle of the order. First baseman Jon Isopo is always a long ball threat. Eric Chesson is primed for a strong season behind the plate. Junior Matthew Brustien will pitch in the rotation, as well as provide solid defense up the middle. Sophomore Danny Abrahams plays outfield and gives the Rebels speed at the top of the batting order. The balance of his year's team is highlighted by a talented sophomore class.
"We will face a much stronger group of teams this year. It will be interesting to see how we fare, but I promise we'll be prepared; we'll hustle and play exciting baseball for our fans to watch."
First scrimmage is Saturday, March 21 vs. cross-town rival, GN Blazers, 10 a.m. at North High School.