Belleville has had a marvelous history when it comes to high school softball. In the 1980s, the Bucs had one of the most dominant programs in Essex County, reaching the county finals nine times while winning three championships.
Former head coach Carl Corino won over 500 games there and at one time was the state’s all-time, winningest coach.
Belleville has also won a pair of state sectional championships, as well as numerous NNJIL crowns, and has had countless All-County and a number of All-State players, spanning four decades.
So, with that said, let’s give some kudos to Belleville’s senior Sarah Guy, who put together a solid four-year career as, first, a pitcher, then a third baseman for the Bucs. Having covered the program for the last 35 years, I can say, without hesitation, that Guy could have played on any of those great teams from the past.
Belleville coach Chris Cantarella, who has been around some tremendous players at BHS, first as an assistant to Corino and, for the last 10 seasons as the head coach, also felt Guy was a unique player.
“Sarah is the one of the smartest players I’ve ever coached,” said Cantarella. “She’s so instinctive in every part of the game. She’s a throwback to a different era here. Sarah could have played on any of those great teams we had in the past.”
I always enjoy tagging a stud race horse name to a really good Essex County player, and in Sarah’s case, it’s Charismatic, named after a great horse and the perfect characterization of Guy’s energy and passion on the softball diamond.
Guy started her high school career in 2012 as Belleville’s starting pitcher. That year, the Bucs were in the Super Essex Conference’s American Division, playing against some of the better teams in North Jersey.
“Sarah stepped into a tough situation and played very well that season,” recalled Cantarella. “There was never an easy game. Livingston, Mount St. Dominic, Bloomfield, Nutley. You name it. And then she hurt her back the following year, which moved her to third base. She played tremendous defense and in her last two years, was outstanding at the plate.”
Guy had 40 hits and drove in 22 runs as a junior, then batted .537 this year, with 39 RBI and 40 runs scored.
She’ll be attending Montclair State University this fall, where Guy will continue playing softball, probably at third base.
“I appreciate how she played and all the things she did in the field,” said Cantarella. “Sarah was a special player in this program.”