Despite losing its core from championship teams in 2012 and 2013, Haldane was able to fill holes and find a way to make it three straight Class C titles in 2014. It wasn’t easy, requiring extra innings to get past Tuckahoe in the section final, but the Blue Devils wouldn’t be denied. Entering 2015, the list of players lost also contains some big names, including last year’s ace Jay Marchese and three-year starter John Rotando, who was probably the most clutch hitter on the team. Both made All-State in Class C last season and Haldane will need a couple of guys to step up and eat some of those innings. But, the good news for coach Tom Virgadamo is they also saw several underclassmen earn playing time last year, so there is some experience coming back. And with only one senior on the roster, the future continues to look bright for the Blue Devils. Tuckahoe and Solomon Schechter may be gaining ground in Class C, but Haldane remains the team to beat.
Here is more from Virgadamo:
How many years have you been coaching at your current school? Seventh year.
How did your team fare last season? 13-10, lost to Pierson in the regional finals 5-1.
Who are your top returning players? Justin Furdico (3B), David Rotando (SS), John Parr (2B), Aidan Siegel (C/P), Brian Haines (P/LF), Ryan Duffy (P), Jimmy Duffy (C/1B), Nick Chiera (P/OF), Miguel Toribio (OF/IF), Justin Maldonado (OF).
Who are the top players that you lost to graduation? Jay Marchese threw quality innings last year and flat out shut teams down, Johnny Rotando (113 career hits) and Kenny Doxey (2B).
How do you feel about your pitching entering the season? Brian Haines was 4-0 last year as a freshman, we expect him to continue to keep us in games. Ryan Duffy, Nick Chiera, Aidan Siegel, Kyle Kenny and Anthony Sinchi are fighting for the second, third and fourth starters. All six guys mentioned are underclassman.
Your lineup? We expect the lineup to fluctuate early on in the year as many guys are coming off of a long basketball season. We expect Rotando, Parr, Furdico, Toribio and Siegel to be anywhere in the top five.
Your defense? Strong up the middle with Rotando and Parr at SS/2B. Maldonado covers a lot of ground in center field, and Siegel and Jimmy Duffy both are strong behind the dish.
What are your team goals? Repeat in the section and get back to regional final. With one senior on the roster (Furdico), we just want to peak at the right time. We expect a slow start and a strong finish.
Which team(s) is your biggest rival? League: North Salem and Putnam Valley. Section: Tuckahoe.
When is your opening game? 3/31 vs. Putnam Valley.
On deck: Clarkstown North
NOTE TO COACHES: We’ll be running these team previews everyday leading up to the start of the season. If you didn’t receive my email for some reason, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be glad to send you a capsule to fill out
Photo of Justin Furdico by John Meore/For The Journal News