WEST ORANGE, NJ - Mike Zarro is a 17-year-old National Honor Society honors student at West Orange High School with a 4.0 GPA in Honors and AP classes. He is also a pitcher, and a very good one at that, making the Essex County Underclassmen All Stars Baseball Team that played at Kean College on June 15 and beat Union County, 8-6.
Zarro was part of a five-member pitching team and pitched about two innings. He was excited to have the opportunity to work with the other team members and said "When you're surrounded by serious players, it makes you want to play better yourself."
His start in baseball began in the West Orange Police Athletic League (WOPAL) Wilman's and Elks teams, where he played shortstop and was a solid hitter. When Zarro began to play on the WOHS baseball team, his interest shifted into pitching. "I got taller," he laughed, "so it made more sense for me to pitch."
The WOHS baseball team was competetive this year, and Zarro acknowledged the support of Head Coach Stephan Zichella and Assistant Coaches "Mr. Tiz" and Brian Dorflaufer, citing the mentoring, advice, and knowledge he's gleaned from them. Zarro's current fastball is clocked at 80 mph, and he also throws a mean curveball and slurve ball (a baseball pitch where the pitcher throws a slider as if it were a curve ball). He excitedly demonstrated his pitches and said his current goal was to improve his slider.
Mike's summer plans include continued play on the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Nationals club team, as well as gearing up for Varsity Soccer at WOHS, where he plays Centerback. "It's going to be an incredible year for the soccer team," he enthused, noting that even in a 'rebuilding' year the team made it to the state sectionals.
As for future plans, Zarro said he was looking at colleges like James Madison in Virginia, and hoped to receive academic and athletic scholarships. "I just know I want to go south" he said. Still unsure of what career field he was interested in, he said "I'm taking anatomy in Senior year...maybe I'll go in to something like Physical Therapy."