(Editor's Note: Victoria Kisling is a senior at North Plainfield High School and an intern for TAPinto North Plainfield.) 

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ- The North Plainfield High School (NPHS) Boys Varsity Baseball Team is off to a competitive start for the 2017 season. With a current record of 4-1, the team is working hard to beat last year’s 9-11 finish.

The team, which is coached by middle school physical education teacher Christopher Eshleman, practices six days a week, working on plays and the fundamentals of baseball to keep them hot. They also spend a lot of time conditioning so as to stay in shape throughout the season.

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“One thing we are trying to stress this year is that every player needs to be competitive at all times. Every pitch, at bat, defensive play can be very crucial and if we have a competitive mindset on every play we will be just fine,” Eshleman. “I think this team is very dynamic and can do some great things this year.”

This year, there are six seniors on the NPHS baseball team: Raimundo Barrios, Nick Cherasaro, Dennis Cooper, Terrence Jones, Steven Merrill, and Christian Wieczorek, with Cherasaro, Jones, and Merrill serving as senior captains and Bruce Weyand as junior captain.

“This season is going great for the team. Everyone is showing heart and we all are looking forward to winning as many games as possible,” said Jones, adding, “And it makes all the more important for all of the seniors to win it all because this may be some of our last opportunities to do so.”

The team, according to its junior captain, prides itself on the great chemistry they have this season. “Our team is scrappy, competitive, and exciting,” said Weyand, adding, “Our team is a lot different than previous years in terms of chemistry and how we communicate with one another.”

Cherasaro agrees, “It’s been a rocky road the last couple of years and this year’s team feels to have so much more chemistry...”

The team-mindset is something the upperclassmen are working to instill in their lowerclassmen as well in the hopes that it continues in the years to come. “Coming into this year we were able to change the mindset of the program and get all the younger guys to buy in and believe in what we’re trying to accomplish,” said Merrill. “So far it’s been working, but we have to keep taking it day-by-day and compete every pitch. If we stick together and focus, we will be successful.”

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