It was about three weeks ago, right, when the 2013 high school softball season concluded in New Jersey?’
Yeah, that’s it. The last three teams still alive from Essex County in the NJSIAA tournament all lost on June 4. Since then, there were the state finals on June 9, followed by the various year-in-review stories from different publications, which, of course, elicited debate among the adults while the kids have already moved on.
Graduation week is upon us, with the seniors getting ready to move on to the next phase of their lives. But for the returning players in 2014 and beyond, the high school season may be complete, but the next campaign is already well underway.
In Essex County, a bunch of schools are back in a league that will play into late July. This season, a majority of the games will be contested on Nutley’s two softball fields, which are adjacent to each other. (Last summer, Mount St. Dominic was the host school for the league).
The 2013 summer league began tonight, with Mount St. Dominic, Nutley, Verona and Bloomfield all playing five inning, timed, round robin games. Nutley faced Mount St. Dominic and Verona while Bloomfield took on Verona and the Mount.
Newark Academy, Montclair and West Orange will also field teams and the league will play twice a week for the next five weeks, or so.
The varsity coaches were all there tonight, with the Mount’s Lorenzo Sozio, Nutley’s Luann Zullo, Bob Mayer of Bloomfield and Pete Foster from Verona making sure to get all their players some valuable time, including some incoming freshmen, as well as players who hope to make their mark on the varsity next spring.
There were also the famliar faces, such as Mount St. Dominic’s Sam Platt and Olivia Gemma, Bloomfield’s Victoria Ross and Nutley’s Carly Anderson and Stephanie Ziemer.
And while the play will be intense from time to time, it is summer, so the wins and losses may not be as important as the players getting key time on the diamond. And some of the kids will go on vacation, and that’s a good thing, too, because many have been playing pretty steadily for the last four months.
Some of the them also play on club teams, too, so there could be scheduling conflicts.
But it is softball, and it’s in Essex County, so why not write about it?
And I’m not even going to say get your popcorn ready!