Comfort, Chemistry, And Diamond Diversity
By Elizabeth Cayouette-Gluckman
There are few sports for which a cohesive team is as integral a component of the sport as it is in baseball. Without a good relationship between teammates the team will not be able to function to its full potential– this a truth that the Salem High has discovered this past season.The season started off slow for this group of boys, but over the past few weeks they have “finally found [themselves] as a team” says junior Xavier Cole. They are a young team, as exemplified by the fact that their entire infield is composed ofsophomores, but have been learning to work together as a unit.
Cole notes that “half our team is from the Dominican Republic, and is very different from us, but we’ve got to know them and are very comfortable around each other and that’s why we’re winning…you have to be very comfortable around each other and have chemistry in order to win.”
Junior Wesley Schaejbe a
lso credits some of the team’s success to the intermingling of friend groups, as they have “all merged together and instead of different groups it’s the team. It’s a whole new environment.” It is clear that he is grateful that the team is behaving cohesively, as he speaks of their rowdy and encouraging bus rides.
It is evident that the team has banded together over the course of the season, as they can typically be found playing together and simply spending downtime together on weekends. The benefit of knowing each other well has shown through in their games, as they are able to work together more effectively, and each know their own role.
Schaejbe feels that the team hit its stride at their recent game against Swampscott, when they “got [their] momentum going and saw that [they] could compete against these other teams.”
Cole agrees, pointing out that their wins against Swampscott and Lynn Classical are significant because those teams “were leading the NEC.”
The teammates are clearly proud of how far the team has come, as they are lifelong baseball players. Schaejbe has been playing for six years, and Cole has been playing for nine years.
“We’ve all been contributing so much, it’s really just falling into place. We’ve come a long way,” remarks Schaejbe.
Cole is more goal oriented, explaining that they “set one goal at the beginning of the year to make tournament, and [they’re] on pace,” to accomplish this. With the level of success they have been experiencing it is not far fetched to wonder whether they will surpass this and win the NEC.
Salem High has eight wins thus far this season, a particularly impressive feat considering that they were coming off of a three win season last year. They only have to win two of their next four games in order to make the playoffs, and these boys are prepared to accept nothing less than victory. They have worked hard for this, over the past few months, but also over the course of much of their lives. Though they appear hesitant to dream too big, it is evident that they have the potential to excel beyond their initial hopes.