County High Schools
Voorhees High School
Voorhees’ move into the new Delaware West Division of the Skyland Conference could not have come at a more inopportune time for Sparky Mattson’s Vikings. As Coach Mattson tells it, “With just three varsity lettermen coming back from last year and everyone else brand new to varsity baseball,” having to face the likes of Hunterdon Central, North Hunterdon, Ridge, Warren Hills, and Philipsburg twice each during the regular season does not bode well for a young team that needs to learn how to play winning baseball together.
Jon Shafer and Matt Plummer represent the only two starting players from the 2004 roster. Shafer provides credible offense and defense, having registered a 2.65 ERA on the mound and a .306 batting average, to go with 14 RBI and 5 doubles. He also plays first base. Plummer hit .353, with 10 RBI, had a 3.44 ERA on the hill, and plays effectively in the outfield. Needless to say, Coach Mattson will rely on both to serve as team leaders, in spirit as well as on the field. Senior outfielder Chris Bond and senior catcher/infielder Chris Brosnan, standouts at the junior varsity level last year, will add some stability to a young squad.
Juniors Jake Piasecki, Derek Pryor, Brett Szatkowski, Neil Perry, and Nick Barone will all see plenty of playing time in ’05, as will sophomores Brian Best, Travis Hoffman, Justin Kamine, and Chris Martini. Piasecki returns for another season at shortstop. He also provides depth on the mound and pop at the plate, as his two wins pitching and his .353 batting average respectively in 2004 attest.
At season’s start, Pryor looked to anchor the hot corner, and Szatkowski appeared slotted to play second base. Perry will receive his share of work in the pitching rotation, and Barone will have spot duty as an infielder. The rest of the squad is all-sophomore with Brian Best in the outfield, Travis Hoffman behind the plate, Justin Kamine pitcher/third base and Chris Martini at first base.
Mattson believes that his team will play well defensively, and he expects the offense to score its share of runs. Like other coaches in the Delaware West who will nurture a young crop of ball players into veterans in 2005, he’s content to take the season one game at a time.