There was plenty of surprised looks in the stands at Livingston on April 24 when word came that Immaculate Heart Academy, the state’s top ranked softball team, which hadn’t lost a game since the first Obama Administration, had dropped a 1-0 game to Paramus Catholic.
But then again, losing a game in late April isn’t that earth shattering.
And probably, in the grand scheme of things, a loss may turn out to be a bigger win for the team from Washington Township which will now not have to hear about an extended winning streak and can focus on winning another Bergen County, Big North and eventually, Non-Public A championship.
IHA coach Anthony LaRezza usually knows what buttons to push to get the most out of his team, and this won’t be any different. His kids (and the key word there is kids) will rebound and probably, this setback will add a little more fire to an already outstanding team.
I often kid LaRezza that the best ‘pep talk’ I ever heard came after his team lost to Livingston at the IHA Tournament in April, 2010. I call it the ‘Memorial Day Weekend’ speech and if you ask him about it, he’ll start laughing. But the point is, LaRezza saw some things that needed to be corrected that day and he felt the message needed to be delivered with some purpose.
This time, I don’t think the Memorial Day speech was needed, but LaRezza was direct in his comments to Sean Reilly of Sideline Chatter today.
“No loss is a good loss, but we haven’t been playing well,” LaRezza said. “Now it’s how you respond to it.”
Message sent and Memorial Day is still a month away.