Back in the Game
Northville to field varsity baseball team for first time since 2012
NORTHVILLE — It has been a long journey, but for the first time since the 2012 season, Northville High School will be fielding a varsity baseball team this spring.
“These guys have been playing together right from the little league program through modified and now on varsity,” Northville head coach Mark Ellsworth said. “They should do well. It has taken time and patience.”
The Falcons last fielded a team in 2012, going 0-18, after not fielding a varsity squad in 2011 after a 1-18 season in 2010.
As part of the recent Capital Project at the school, the athletic facilities were upgraded and expanded, improving the school’s soccer field and adding new softball and baseball diamonds and dugouts.
“We told the kids this is their house and they are taking care of it,” Ellsworth said. “The field gets raked every night, sometimes twice a night and the school has been taking care of it.”
Ellsworth said he is very pleased, but not surprised, with the turnout for what will be a shortened season this spring due to pandemic mandates.
“We had 16 players come out for varsity and I really wasn’t surprised at the turnout.” He said. “I have been coaching modified since 2014 when we started it back up and in 2015, we didn’t have enough kids. Then we got it back after that. Last year, we were going to go with just JV and had a week of practice and then the COVID pandemic shut it down. It would have been the same kids and they are coming out of the Northville-Edinburg Little League.”
The team posted a winning 7-4 record at the modified level in 2019, a record Ellsworth said probably could have been a little better.
“There were some games we probably should have won but shot ourselves in the foot with errors,” he said. “But that happens and you learn from them. They all had fun and all came back.”
The Falcons are scheduled, weather permitting; to open their season at 4:30 p.m. Friday at home against longtime rival Mayfield before taking to the road on Saturday morning to play Galway.
“These kids here have been doing very well,” Ellsworth said. “I feel we are going to be very competitive but we may take our bumps and bruises against other programs that have been around a lot longer than ours. We will be competitive and should win a few games. The base of the team are 10th and 11th graders, no seniors, so I will have them here next year also and then we will have the modified coming up through.”
Wyatt Sira and Carson Foster have been named the captains of the 2021 squad, while John Sira will assist Ellsworth with the varsity coaching duties.
The team will also be required to follow new rules such as not sharing equipment and baseballs will be provided by and properly disinfected at the begging and end of each game. Helmets and catcher’s equipment must also be properly disinfected before and after use.
The athletes must also be socially distanced whenever possible with a specific place to stand or sit during team meetings and games that will allow them to be six feet apart while not competing on the field. No unnecessary physical contact will be allowed including high-five, handshakes and team huddles.