Boomer Elmsdale
Fri, February 16, 2024 at 06:02 AM
As the Oak Park High School baseball team prepares for their 2024 campaign, Coach Rick Magnante is focused on building a fundamentally sound team with a strong emphasis on pitching, defense, and putting the ball in play. With nine returning seniors and key underclassmen, the team has the potential to have a successful season. Let's take a closer look and see what Coach Magnante had to say about the team this year in our exclusive interview. Setting the bar high, Coach Magnante's overall goals for the team this season are to be a fundamentally sound baseball team. The key to success for the team will be their ability to pitch, play catch, and put the ball in play. This will require discipline and dedication from the players, who are eager to prove themselves and have a successful season. When asked about the top returning players from last season, Coach Magnante mentioned their nine returning seniors who will be the leaders of the team. Their experience and individual abilities are what make them stand out and will be relied upon for the team's success. These seniors will bring a wealth of knowledge and leadership to the team, setting high expectations for their teammates. In terms of new players, Coach Magnante has his eyes on three underclassmen who he believes will make an immediate impact on the team. Henry Rizzotti, Tyler Kutsch, and Jaden Holmes, all class of 2026, will be key contributors to the team's success. Their talent and hard work during practices have caught the attention of the coaching staff, and they are expected to make a positive impact on the team's performance. Team chemistry and camaraderie are crucial in any successful team, and Coach Magnante plans on implementing this through an extensive fall schedule. The team has played against tough opponents, and this has allowed them to build a strong bond and a mentality of winning as they enter the new season. This team chemistry will be essential for their success on and off the field. When it comes to motivating his players, Coach Magnante believes that players are self-motivated. He simply asks them to be accountable and take responsibility for their actions. This approach fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility within the players, pushing them to strive for their full potential. However, the biggest challenge for Coach Magnante this season has been adjusting to the high school level of play and expectations as this is his first year coaching at Oak Park.