Magazine Sport Volume 70, Issue 8

Athlete’s Input on Return to Baseball

By Andrew Francois

After nearly a yearlong hiatus, the Las Lomas Baseball Team returned to a normal schedule of games and practices this month. 11th-grade student and member of the Las Lomas Varsity Baseball Team Joey Rusca spoke to me about the past year and the excitement of returning to the diamond.

Like all school sports last year, the baseball season came to an abrupt end with the dawn of COVID lockdowns. “I was bummed out and disappointed that we got shut down basically as soon as we got started, but many of us still found ways to get better by working out and practicing on our own time,” said Rusca. “I just continued to work hard and improve my game as often as I could.” 

Rusca, one of the team’s catchers, said, “Over the last year I was looking to improve my leadership skills as well as my communication skills, and making sure everyone is on the same page and where they’re supposed to be. The spring season officially started on April 5th and the team couldn’t have been more excited. It had been over a year since we last played a game on our field and put on those jerseys, so we were beyond happy to be able to go out and play once again.”

The return after a yearlong absence was predictably not without a bit of lag. “With us being gone as a team for so long because of COVID, it took some time to gain our momentum back,” Rusca said, “but we eventually did, and started working together and getting back on track.” Rusca also shed some light on the team’s mentality going into this year’s season, and said, “I think the team is most looking forward to just playing again and showcasing all of the hard work we’ve put in. There’s going to be a little bit of nervousness for sure, but when the games start we just have to stay true to ourselves and have fun doing it.”

The team has a busy schedule going into the end of April, and is slated to play Alhambra, Bishop O’Dowd, Pinole Valley, Acalanes, and Ygnacio Valley by the end of the month. May will be likewise busy for the team, with four games scheduled per week.