Senior Spotlight: Baseball

In recognition of our incredible spring senior athletes, GSB will be providing spotlights on the members of the Class of 2020. Our first edition focuses on the baseball program, which features Chris Boney ‘20, Edward McCarthy ‘20, and Mike Taylor ‘20, with comments from Head Coach Dave Pasquale. Thank you, Knights, for all you did for Gill during your time here! Coach Pasquale: 'My heart goes out to all of the boys, but especially the three seniors. They put in a ton of work for us, resulting in two division championships and two trips to the sectional finals in their three years on the diamond. There aren't a lot of teams in New Jersey that can make that claim. Their goal for 2020 was the first baseball sectional championship in school history!' NameChris Boney PositionPitcher Why Do You Love Playing Baseball?I love playing baseball because it teaches you so many valuable lessons about the game and about life. It creates bonds and friendships that can last for years, and it is a time to let loose and have fun. Baseball is the game of failure, and it is those failures that either make or break you as a player. It is a test of mental toughness, and while being surrounded by your teammates, all going through the same struggles, it makes it worthwhile.  What Was the Greatest Lesson You Learned During Your Time Competing for GSB Athletics?The greatest lesson I have learned while playing for GSB is to value and respect the little things in the game, to not take anything for granted, and to savor the time spent playing with your teammates, because you never know how much time you have left before it is all over.  Favorite Memory of Competing as a Knight?My favorite memory while playing for GSB is just the thrill and excitement you feel every time you step on that field. It is knowing that you and your teammates are putting in 110% effort into each and every moment of the game. And that is just such an amazing feeling. The memories made while playing for GSB will never be forgotten, and I will cherish those moments with my teammates and coaches for years to come.  NameEdward McCarthy PositionCatcher/Outfield Why Do You Love Playing Baseball?I love playing baseball because I think it is truly the hardest sport that there is to play. Is the action as constant and up-and-down as basketball and hockey? No, but baseball is hard for a different reason. You may be in the outfield all game and not get any action – no fly balls, not even a ground ball. Yet, with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and the season on the line, for the first time in two hours, you have to make a play. Make a catch, you win and advance; fail, your season’s over. It is the most humbling game on the planet. What I love about it is all the failures you’ve experienced (strikeouts, hitting into double plays, crushing a ball, but having it caught on the warning track, etc.), make moments of success – that walk-off hit or game-saving catch – so much sweeter. What Was the Greatest Lesson You Learned During Your Time Competing for GSB Athletics?It’s something that Coach Pasquale has preached to us since day 1: We don’t want to be playing our best baseball on March 1st or even on April 1st, we want to be at our best from mid-May to early June (when the games really count). If you are playing your best baseball in mid-April, great. You will win a lot of regular season games, but chances are you will not have much success in the postseason. However, if you are playing your best in mid-May, that’s how you win a championship. And sometimes that is hard because we have to trust the process. We will get smacked a few times in April, and it’ll be ugly all around. But, at the end of the day, we know that if we trust the process and trust coach, he will have us playing our best at state tournament time – when it really matters. Favorite Memory of Competing as a Knight?Last year in the sectional semifinals vs. Hudson Catholic. It was the first time I can ever remember playing what had to be as close to a perfect game as you could possibly have. Skap (Joe Skapinetz ’21) tossed a gem; they couldn’t touch him, and he made our jobs easy in the field. Their pitcher was pretty good as well, so we had to do all the little things right (getting bunts down, not making mistakes on the bases) and we did. AJ (Donofrio ’19) hit a three-run homer, which helped us out a lot, and I just remember all of us being so excited. We were the underdogs – nobody expected us to win – and with every inning that passed, that feeling of excitement just intensified. When we got the last out, I do not think I’ve ever run as fast as I did that day from left field into the infield, so I could celebrate with the rest of the boys. We had a long bus ride back and hit a bunch of traffic, but I don’t think anybody cared since we were all just too happy. It was a special day, a special moment. I would do just about anything to relive it.NameMike Taylor Position3rd Base / Outfield / Pitcher / First Base Why Do You Love Playing Baseball?I love baseball because of how much fun can really be involved compared to other sports. A lot of people complain because baseball is boring or too slow, but this is what I think brings the joy into the game. The fact that each player is not running around all the time gives kids the chance to joke around and have fun. What Was the Greatest Lesson You Learned During Your Time Competing for GSB Athletics?Coach Pasquale has been the greatest coach and mentor I have had in my life. He has really rewritten my entire attitude towards baseball, but more importantly life. I was very selfish when I first entered this program. It took some time, but I think this baseball team has really made me a better person, not just for myself but for those around me. Favorite Memory of Competing as a Knight?My favorite memories with GSB baseball all revolve around the spring trip we take to Florida each year. It has become an iconic part of the season that brings the entire team together. There are no words for how much I miss that trip and how much I will miss this team…