County High Schools
South Hunterdon High School
Ron Peterson returns in 2005 for his second tenure as Head Baseball Coach. Previously, he had left the post in 2001 for personal reasons. After having served as assistant coach the last two seasons, he’ll again be calling the shots for a team that had fallen on hard times during his absence.
|Jake Stephens - Youth leads
the way at South
One of his first objectives includes returning to South a sense of pride in playing baseball. He wants very much to instill in his ball players appreciation for the fundamentals of the game, an understanding of “how to win” and having fun doing it. He will have his work cut out for him, as the newly realigned Skyland Conference – Raritan Division includes most of the old, familiar nemeses, namely Delaware Valley, Somerville, Hackettstown, Belvidere, and North Warren.
Given the spirit of the team, Peterson likes his chances. Despite being “very young and very inexperienced,” the boys have good rapport among each other, work hard, and “will come ready to play every game.” The team also looks good to him on paper, with seven starters returning from 2004, albeit only three of them seniors.
Those three seniors, first baseman Joe Fenneman, right fielder Steve Williamson, and shortstop/pitcher Stephen Bartzak, will provide the nucleus of team leadership upon which Peterson’s rebuilding plans will rest. Seniors Kyle Donnelly, Tom Ennis, and Mark Scyzewski will also play key roles. Donnelly will play outfield and catch, Ennis will get work behind the plate, and Scyzewski will play in the infield, most likely at second base. Coach Peterson will rely on Bartzak in particular, a relief pitcher in ’04 who has “good stuff” on the ball and the intensity to do the job when he takes the mound.
In terms of future development, Peterson sees great potential in a strong crop of sophomores. Kyle Simonye can and will play practically every position, including pitcher, during the course of the year; however, at the start of the season, Coach Peterson projected him as the Eagles’ starting catcher. Lucas Rinz and Jacob Stephens will share duties on the mound with Simonye. Rinz and Stephens will also see playing time in the infield, and Kyle Davis will also see action in the outfield.
Freshmen prospects – South Hunterdon does not have a freshman or a junior varsity team – also loom noticeably on the horizon, in Anthony Danese, Robbie Williamson, and Kyle Hart. Coach Peterson regards Danese in particular as a “pleasant surprise.” Danese and Williamson will patrol the outfield, probably in center and in left respectively, while Hart will occupy a backup role.
Coach Peterson sees “no negatives” among his young ball players, who, he observes, came together as a result of the turmoil surrounding the 2004 team. This year’s installment of Eagles’ baseball will stress fundamentals such as bunting, moving the runner in key game situations, stealing bases, and using the hit-and-run. Playing sound baseball, combined with an excellent team attitude and a youth movement that features talent all through the lineup, give Peterson a good feeling about his team this season. From all accounts, South Hunterdon fans will have plenty to cheer in ’05, not the least of which will be renewed pride in Eagles’ baseball.