Hudson Valley Sports Report

SUNY NEW PALTZ BACK IN THE SWING OF THINGS

Spring Sports Off And Running For The Hawks

 

By Jonathan Conti
Special to HVSR

NEW PALTZ – With the return of spring sports all across New York, players and coaches are pumped up to get back to the games they love to play, especially at SUNY New Paltz.

On Feb. 23, SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras announced that sports for the Spring 2021 semester were cleared to commence on March 20. This includes baseball, softball, and volleyball. The seasons will all also conclude around May 8.

Thomas Seay, head coach of the New Paltz baseball team now entering his third year, explained how he and his team have felt since the start of the season.

“I think we’re all really excited,” Seay said, “We opened up against Skidmore College last weekend and took two games from them, so overall, we’re really excited to get back into the swing of things.”

With notable returning players like Anthony Amoroso (Senior, RHP), Michael Boccarossa (Junior, INF), and first team all-conference player Matthew McGee (Senior, OF/IF), Seay showed how this return to play has positively affected his relationship with his players.

“It’s great to be back with the players and develop them not only on the field, but also to mentor them and guide them off the field,” Seay said.

Uneasiness about the COVID pandemic has also played a major role when it comes to how coaches handle adjustments to their lineups and overall game plan, including Seay.

“We’ve had some players that have opted out for various reasons, more family conflicts then anything,” Seay said. “But for the most part, other than a couple small adjustments, things remain unchanged.”

With roadblocks in play such as mandatory mask-wearing for all individuals present at games, limited spectators, weekly COVID testing, no handshakes, and no post- or pre-game celebrations, New Paltz teams are in the midst of a very different season with many more restrictions.

 

Krysti Maronski, head coach of the New Paltz softball team, who guided the Hawks to their most successful season in program history with a 26-12 overall record when she started in 2019, explained how these restrictions have changed the feel of the game – but has not changed the team’s approach to continue winning.

“All the girls have to wear masks in practice, when we lift, and do anything as a team, but thankfully during games they won’t have to wear these masks on the field if they don’t want to,” Maronski said. “We are also testing for COVID twice a week, but other than that we are business as usual in order to be the best.”

The Hawks softball team has their first games coming up, a double header, against the Cortland Red Dragons on Wednesday, April 7 and it could not have come at a better time for Maronski and her team.

“When we got the go-ahead back in February that we could continue practice and start games back up, it gave us a sense of purpose once again,” Maronski said.

With more and more collegiate level spring sports being played, and the amplitude of COVID guidelines coaches and players have to go through, the future of New Paltz sports is finally becoming normalized again.

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