John Walsh is a positive kind of guy, if not an eternal optimist. So it’s not surprising that even after a very trying season, the longtime Huntington High School varsity softball coach believes there are good times ahead for the program.
The Blue Devils struggled this past spring, compiling a 1-19 record. The season wasn’t expected to produce such a lopsided mark. Walsh thought Huntington would be much more competitive, but for a variety of reasons, that just wasn’t in the cards. But with only one senior on the roster, there is hope for 2018.
Captained by Sarah Grassi, Jocelyn Gray and Isabella Toscano, the Blue Devils endured when many teams might have folded. That’s more of an accomplishment than meets the eye.
The highlight of the season was a 19-8 comeback victory over Copiague. Walsh said another notable effort was Huntington’s “strong performance” against Half Hollow Hills West despite fielding only eight players for the game.
Walsh, who was assisted by Jim Byrnes, pointed to Grassi, who won All-League honors for the second consecutive season after a standout season at catcher and sophomore pitcher Maya DelGiudice as the team’s top two players.
Huntington’s only senior, Grassi gave the Blue Devils strong leadership on and off the field along with gutty efforts behind the plate and at bat. DelGiudice made dramatic improvements on the mound over the past year and appears well positioned to further ratchet up her hurling next spring.
In addition to the three captains and DelGiudice, the Huntington roster also included freshmen Megan Byrnes, Alexandra Gerbavsits, Lia Shechter and Anna Wickey and sophomores Erin Bonitz, Nina Danseglio and Morgan Minicozzi.
With nearly his entire team eligible to return next spring, Walsh is optimistic the Blue Devils can field a very competitive squad.