It has been four months since the Knights have been able to represent Gill St. Bernard’s School in an athletic setting due to the heartbreaking cancellation of the spring sports season. Four long months of student-athletes awaiting the opportunity to come together with their friends and teammates while working as one team to achieve a common goal.
That wait, however, officially ends tomorrow for some athletes, as over 200 New Jersey high school baseball squads will begin competing in a once-in-a-lifetime state tournament, titled the “Last Dance World Series.” The Knights of Gill St. Bernard’s have the opportunity to be one of those competing teams. It is not technically a high school tournament, as it is not being sanctioned by the NJSIAA, but rather by the United States Specialty Sports Association. The only rule that high school coaches had to follow were that they could not meet or train with their players prior to today, July 13. The students have either been working out on their own or training with their respective club teams.
The tournament kicks off with three days of pool play, with local teams facing each other in 56 groupings throughout the state. These groupings comprise the North and South Regions, and the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight for the two regions will be contested July 21 and 22. The North and South semifinals and finals are slated for July 28 and 29. The Knights will be playing at TD Bank Park (home of the Somerset Patriots) and will be kicking things off tomorrow, July 14, at 1:00 p.m. against local rival Pingry. Also playing in GSB’s pool will be Rutgers Prep and Hillsborough.
“The best thing is that it is an opportunity to salvage some semblance of 2020 baseball,” said Head Coach Dave Pasquale. “We were all devastated, especially the seniors, when we lost the season, so this gives something back to the kids, although in a limited fashion. We want to try and win as many games as we can for sure, but that takes a back seat to just being able to get back out onto the field.” Best of luck to all of our Knights participating, and have fun!