Challenging year ahead for Trojans baseball


Antonio Franco

A baseball player attempts to take out another player at third base during practice at Skyline College on Feb. 15.

Baseball season is rapidly approaching, and with that, the yells of excited players and cracks of baseball bats echo over Skyline’s athletic fields. 

Skyline’s Trojans won the conference title last year, but they are now trying to repeat this feat with a new set of players. If trying to win back-to-back conference titles is already a challenge, then doing it with a team full of new faces must add another layer of pressure for the entire club.

The head coach of the team, Tony Brunicardi, anticipates a lot of challenges this season as most of the incoming players are inexperienced with playing at the college level. A majority of last year’s players have left this season, leaving behind a gap of experience that new players will have to fill.

“We had some ups and downs already,” Coach Brunicardi said. “But we are already growing as a group.”

However, even with this obstacle, the chemistry between the players seems to go hand in hand with their growth as a team. The relationship between the guys on the team is so potent that it is hard not to recognize the bond that is formed between them.

“They love each other,” Brunicardi said. “They get along with each other. They hang out outside of the field. You can see all the talk on the field which is huge.”

Sophomore Max Coupe is undeclared with an interest in psychology, and he has been on this team for two years as a center fielder. Playing baseball since he was five, it is not surprising to see that Coupe’s love for the game extends to his ambitions to delve into the world of sports psychology.

That sense of empathy extends to his teammates and his willingness to take the lead for the freshman. 

“I think being able to show the freshman coming in what we’re all about here is really important,” Coupe said. “I think we created a really good, solid foundation here with everyone.”

Despite the pressure of measuring up to last season’s accomplishments, Camron Grant,  who has played third and first base for four years at Skyline, has faith in his team to succeed this season. 

Grant is working towards getting his communications major, and he has been playing baseball since he was four years old. Grant’s love for the game, as well as creating new bonds with his teammates, has motivated him to keep playing for all these years.

“We have a lot of special guys on this team,” Grant said. “Building a new journey with this team is going to be really special.”  

Being around this group for even a short amount of time is enough to fully grasp that sense of brotherhood and excitement. The banter and encouragement is heartfelt, and it definitely rings true to one of Brunicardi’s main philosophies.

“Enjoy the moment,” Brunicardi said. “Enjoy the teammates you get to compete with. These are life memories that you will always remember.” 

As the Trojans embark on a new season, the pressures will surely mount. However, Coupe and Grant have shared some helpful tips on what they do when faced with these difficulties. 

“Focal points,” Grant said. “I will look at my bat, take a couple deep breaths… and that will get me redialed in. Back in the situation I need to be in,” Coupe has a different approach when confronted with a stressful situation.

“I look at it as there is no such thing as pressure,” Coupe said. “I always like to think that I am here for a reason.”

This season will surely be worth the watch, as this squad is fresh and ready to face whatever obstacles may come their way.