Myalee Lanzo, Contributing Writer
“We should be a very strong team this year with the new coach Anthony Barbera and new players,” Athletic Director Jorge Hernandez said. There are very high expectations for the Bergen Bulldogs softball team this upcoming season.
Hernandez, who is handing over the reins as the coach of the team to Anthony Barbera, has complete confidence in not only the coach but the players who take up the diamond.
All freshman players from last season returning will give the Bergen Bulldogs a strong foundation for the upcoming season. There are several players who are returning and several who are making the debut for the purple and orange this year, starting with right-hander Frankie Barbera who is entering her first year with the team after transferring from a division one school.
There’s Crystal Mudry who is coming off of a hard-fought volleyball season for Bergen in the fall and decided to join, along with Erin Germinario, another transfer athlete who has a lot to contribute to the team.
The team manager last year, Amber Locurto is returning to the team this year in a much larger role and will look to take some of the pitching duties off of sophomore Madison Heck.
Heck, who is coming off of a breakout season last year pitching in every game for the Bulldogs, will attempt to continue her dominance not only on the mound but everywhere on the field and turn that dominance into wins for her team.
Amanda Modelfino, who has played other sports for Bergen in the past, is now trying her hand at softball for the first time and is believed to make a great impact on the team.
Also expected to contribute to the team are players Alyssa Vazquez, a freshmen outfielder from Bogota High School, Madison Kolich, the centerfielder last season was also their lead-off hitter, and Tatiana Fermaint, who was the team’s catcher and played in the outfield on occasion.
Other players on the team are Ariana Bravo, a returning utility player, and Melinda Ogando, who played outfield and catcher. Giovanna Dandeneau, a sophomore who is expected to graduate in the spring, decided to take more credits than necessary in order to be deemed eligible to play this season.
With the amount of dedication and commitment already shown before the season has started, it would not be a surprise to see this team playing late into the spring.
The season for the Bulldogs is going to be filled with excitement and a motivated roster led by a revamped coaching staff. The sky is the limit for this team.
The softball team has already started their fundraiser for their spring break trip to Myrtle Beach. The Softball Puppy Clinic, where the players work one on one with kids ages from 10-14, teaching them fundamentals that are needed to play softball.
The fundraiser turned out to be a success with 17 kids for the first session and more joining later on.
The team’s first official game will be during their spring break trip at Myrtle Beach and their first game at the campus will be against Bucks County Community College on March 21.
During the trip to Myrtle Beach, the team will really get a chance to connect and bond, allowing them to play better together.
Athletic Director Hernandez stood firm in his belief in the team saying, “This team can compete with anybody, no one is gonna blow them out.”