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Friday, May 24, 2024
HomeSportHigh SchoolMariner Softball Set to “Get To It”

Mariner Softball Set to “Get To It”

For well over twenty years Mike Guzzo has been at the helm as the Mariners begin their softball season. Coach Guzzo said, “For the last three years, the kids have been locked in the gym with late spring thaws. The year be­fore that was the Covid year, so these seniors have kind of gotten cheated.”

This season, Guzzo welcomed thirty-one players in grades seven through twelve. His expectations are consistent; “We want to compete for the 7A championship.” The Mar­iners were 14-7 last season and returned ev­eryone, so it is realistic to aim high.

“We have a good group and a really strong group of young players, so I am confident in future years.”

Seniors Hope Ernest and Danika Thomp­son have been at the core of the pitching staff since they were in eighth grade. I asked Hope about her best softball memories and she said, “That is easy. Last year, both Katie Carpenter and I hit balls that I was convinced were home runs, only to have the Esko cen­ter fielder make a great play on each one. I think this year we will have a good hitting team and a team that can bunt well. If Dani (Thompson) can come back from her injury quickly, we will have a solid pitching staff. It should be fun. Right now, I am just ready for the season to get going.”

Junior outfielder Brooke Velcheff expects her team to be a good hitting squad. “I am looking for lots of wins.” Brooke loves the atmosphere of her team and the fun that she and her team can have during a game.

In addition to the Mariners, Guzzo looks for challenges from Moose Lake, Barnum, Cherry, Carlton-Wrenshall, and South Ridge this season. The Mariners are scheduled to open the season on the artificial turf at Mt. Iron this Friday afternoon.

Guzzo is assisted by Kelly Ollila, Mike Hoff, Shayne Downey, Jeff Asmussen, and Hannah Leblanc.

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