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Raiders Softball Team

Raiders Softball 12-10 with Milestone for Head Coach

The Girls Softball teams traveled to Florida in late March for a preseason tournament which gave the team a chance to prepare for the regular season ahead of them. The team competed in scrimmages against teams outside of the league and were able to pull off some wins. 


This tournament was the first time that the new freshmen experienced competition at the high school level. To help make this transition a smooth process to adapt to, Varsity members provided a helpful and comfortable environment where the girls can learn from each other. 


During offtime at both the tournament and regular season, the girls had lots of time to connect with each other through various team bonding activities. 


Junior Sianna Kantor, who has been playing with the Varsity softball team since her freshman year, believes that the Florida trip really helped the team’s bond grow stronger. “The team dynamic has been very good recently,” Kantor said. “We always know how to have fun, whether it be on the field or hanging out at school,” she said. 


Kantor has been known to bring both great energy and determination onto the field, according to her teammates. “I always have struggled with trying to keep a positive mindset when the team is losing,” Kantor said. She admitted that she knew how important her mindset was to the other players on the team, which helps keep her disciplined. “I try to remind myself to push through the toughness so that I don’t let my team down,” Kantor said.  


The regular season, which started on April 1st where the team pulled off a 6-0 win against Newark Academy, has been mostly positive with the team obtaining 12 wins and only 10 losses at this point of the season. It has also been full of huge accomplishments for both the players and coaches. 


Junior Gabriella Mariano is having a strong season. “I hit two home runs this season so far,” Mariano said. “Also, I’m playing as catcher with the team this season, which is much different than my position as shortstop from the last two seasons.” 


Mariano explains how the catcher is responsible for the balls from behind the batter, while the shortstop position falls between two bases and requires lots of movement. The nature of these two positions are quite different from each other, which has given Mariano a challenge to make this switch. Although Mariano has had experience as catcher with her club teams, she believes that at the high school level, it is a much more challenging task. 


Besides the players, the coaching staff has also been able to accomplish some great and rare achievements this year. 


On May 8th, Head Coach Luann Zullo was able to pull off her 500th win with the team. This milestone shows her positive influence on the team’s performance and her abilities as a coach. 


The game against Payne Tech resulted in a 13-1 win. After the game, both the team and coaches were full of energy and excitement to celebrate this milestone with Zullo. Zullo celebrated with the coaches, players, and Raider alumni who have played under her in years prior. 


Thinking back on her achievement, Zullo was full of emotion. “It’s an amazing feeling,” Zullo said, adding that the event made her appreciate the value she has as head coach on a higher level. 


Not only did Zullo express what this meant for her, but she also explained what this meant for her players. “It’s a tribute to the many excellent athletes I had the opportunity to work with over the years,” Zullo said. 


Zullo then went on to praise the support of the players, coaching staff, and administration for making this achievement possible for her. 


After being able to achieve this milestone, the team and coaches hope to continue these efforts and get more done with the time they have remaining. The team plans to have a strong finish to this challenging, yet remarkable season.