The record speaks for itself. The DePaul High softball team has put together a tremendous run of success, including a record six straight Passaic County Tournament championships, from 2012 through last season, as well as an unprecedented 11 titles in the 36 year history of the PCT.
And as the 2018 regular season nears, head coach Sue Parler is optimistic that the team can continue its winning ways.
The Spartans traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for five days of scrimmages and practices last week. The team was slated to return earlier this week and, weather permitting, would be back in action for a scrimmage on March 23, against Morris Catholic, at home, beginning at 4:30 p.m. On March 26, DePaul will visit Indian Hills and on March 28, the team hosts Morris Knolls.
The regular season will begin on April 2, when DePaul plays host to Wayne Hills, at 4 p.m. A day later, West Milford visits, also at 4 p.m. DePaul will once again play in the rugged Big North Division, meaning two games each against powerful Immaculate Heart Academy, as well as Paramus Catholic and Holy Angels.
Beginning her 23rd season as head coach at DePaul, Parler was looking forward to the team’s annual trip South. It was a good opportunity for the team to take advantage of warmer weather, while also creating a bonding time for this year’s team.
“Every year is new, for sure,” said Parler. “We have a good group of kids this season, and they’re anxious to get going.”
The weather, obviously, has been a problem, with multiple storms afflicting the Northeast in March.
“Heading into our trip to Myrtle Beach, we had been outside, one day, for practice,” said Parler. “The trip comes at the right time. We need quality practice time, outdoors.”
DePaul was scheduled to play six or seven scrimmages in South Carolina, as well as time for practice.
The Spartans lost some talented players to graduation last spring, including Amanda Ayala, who is now playing at the University of Tennessee and Morgan O’Neill, who has continued her career at Mount St. Mary College, in Newburgh, New York.
“They were obviously key to a lot of good years here,” said Parler of the duo. “But each year, there’s a new freshman class coming in and a new dynamic.”
The team’s senior captains for 2018 are Dominique Coiro, Summer Ramundo and Kaitlin Cavanagh. Corio will be the team’s catcher, Ramundo will see the bulk of the pitching and Cavanagh is an infielder.
Parler brought 14 players to South Carolina, as well as a large group of parents.
“We were expecting a traveling party of 42 to South Carolina,” said Parler. “We enjoy this trip, every year. The parents are wonderful and so supportive, and like I said, the kids are great. They work hard, they stay on top of their school work. I like the team’s maturity and commitment.”
The coaching staff remains intact, with Cyndi Covello, Jennie Horwath and Bernadette Wiltshire back returning for a new season.