The snow is melting, the sun is shining, and the women are getting ready to kick off their 2015 softball season. The players intend to make this an exciting season at Highland Park High School. The Owls finished 8-9 in 2014. They look to improve on their record from a year ago and a quartet of senior captains will lead the way. “Our four seniors look to lead by example, be good role models, play 110 percent and to the best of their ability,” said Lori Szentgyorgyi, entering her 11th season at the helm.
Running the show is senior hurler Zoe Shombert. “Zoe has an incredible spirit and determination and a fire under her,” said Coach Szentgyorgyi.
Senior centerfielder Nautica Dennis was an All-GMC Gold Division selection last season. “Nautica is a great role model and has an ability to maintain a happy balance between silly and serious to get things done, ” stated the coach.
Another captain looking to help her team get the job done is senior third baseman Nyahjah Boynkins. “She has the desire to go out and give 110 percent which helps everyone else do the right thing,” Ms. Szentgyorgyi said.
Rounding out the quartet is senior shortstop Carly Aversa. “Carly is hard worker who questions everything and looks for ways to improve herself.”
Junior first baseman Sydney McManus-Smith looks to overcome injury to become a integral part of the team. Sophomore Simona Moyal will start as catcher this season and is an important cog to the success of pitcher Shombert on the mound. “Simona has worked hard to improve herself on the field.”
Sophomore Ester Adiv, is a tremendous three-sport athlete who can play second base and the outfield. She will be starting at first while first base player Smith recuperates from injury.
Sophomore Hallie Lerner who played outfield and shortstop last season is a focused youngster looking to hit her stride.
The Owls have a big goal this year. Improve their overall record from a year ago, stay positive, play to the best of their strengths and working together as a team. The Owls open up the preseason with scrimmages against Bound Brook next Monday, March 23 and Manville, March 30. Their season opener is at Dunellen, April 1, followed by consecutive home games against South River on April 6 and Bound Brook on April 8. Key matchups will be against Wardlaw and Bound Brook this season.
“When we play Bound Brook, it is an out-of-conference game which is a good game for us to play and makes us play better. Wardlaw also is a big challenge for us. We’re excited about the season starting. If we show confidence and it rubs off on the players, it will be a big boost to the season,” said the coach.