BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Right-handed senior pitcher Dylan Verschleiser had the thrill of being part of the 2018 Union County Championship baseball team his sophomore year. So, it's not surprising that Verschleiser and his 2020 teammates worked hard in the off season with anticipation of hanging another championship banner on the hill.
"My favorite high school highlight was definitely being part of the 2018 County Championship team.," said Verschleiser. "My friend Ryan [Devanney] and I were the only people from my grade to be a part of that team, so to me it is a very special memory that I don’t take for granted. It was also our first year on the team so it was even more special to us."
The 2018 championship was the Highlanders' second UCT title in a three years span. They scored four late runs to surge past the defending champion Westfield Blue Devils for a 6-2 victory in the championship game of the UCT at Kean University.
"Nobody feels worse for Dylan then me," said head coach Chris Roof of the cancellation of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "I’ve seen all the time and hard work he put forth the last three years with a serious injury to get back finally and then this happened. Dylan would’ve helped us big time out of the bullpen this season."
Roof reflected on the fact that Verschleiser had been a loyal Highlander fan since he was a little boy. "Dylan lived close to the high school, he would always as a little boy walk up to the high school to watch us either practice or play games. That’s a fond memory of Dylan that I’ll never forget," said Roof.
Spending so much time on the hill, Verschleiser recognized that putting on the GL uniform sets you apart from being an average high school athlete. "Many people often reference how the Yankee uniform is more than just a uniform since it holds tradition and symbolizes success. The GL uniform has the same characteristics except for high school athletes," he said. "GL is often regarded as one of the best baseball schools in our region. As a result, we must carry on that tradition when wearing the GL logo."
TAPinto: What is your favorite youth highlight?
Dylan: My favorite youth highlight was our first Berkeley Heights 8u travel season nearly 10 years ago. We won the championship that year on a walk off. We all stormed the field and celebrated our first championship as a baseball team.
TAPinto: How are you doing during this period of isolation?
Dylan: Of course this period of unfortunate isolation really upsets many of my teammates and I because this would have been our last season playing together, but we have to accept these circumstances and make the best of them any way we can.
TAPinto: What will be the first thing you do once restrictions are lifted?
Dylan: When isolation is lifted the first thing I will do it meet up with my friends. Secondly, I will definitely throw off the GL mound or take Batting practice with my friends on the field before leaving for good.
Valairco Heating & Cooling is the proud sponsor of the Highlander Senior Spotlight Series. Kevin McHugh, Valairco Owner and President and Berkeley Heights resident, is an alumni of Gov. Livingston High School.
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