Senior James Pandolfo has been playing baseball since he was eight year's old. Pandolfo first got interested in the sport when watching a Red Sox game in 2006 and just fell in love with the game and started playing for fun with friends, and from there he told his dad he wanted to play and just started practicing with his dad non-stop, all the time. Since then, Pandolfo has never stopped and has always kept up the effort and love for baseball.
Pandolfo mentioned that one of his motivations for being a better person and a better player is his team. He said his team keeps him motivated because he wishes to do the “best [he] can everyday so that [they] will do the same, which will lead to success.” Pandolfo’s parents also play a huge role in being his motivation because “every time [he] play[s], [he] want[s] to make them proud because [he] wouldn’t have gotten so far without their support.”
In comparison to last season, for the team, he hopes to help improve their record and play hard together. The team has come across some challenging games and tournaments last year and so for that reason, they hope to make improvements so that this year will be their best year yet. A few of those challenges were concluded to the fact that the team had problems last year with staying focused on the game at all times. He also says their new coaching staff has done a good job helping to get “focused and dedicated to being the best [we] can be.” With these struggles, comes success but to be successful means working hard and actually giving in a huge effort as not only an individual, but as a team.
Pandolfo’s biggest strength in his opinion would be as a fielder, while hitting the ball would be his weakness. That is why this season, he is working so hard to improve on that. He plays in position shortstop and second base. Last year’s most challenging and most memorable game would be “[their] big win over Medford earlier in the season.” His advice to anyone wanting to play baseball would be “to absolutely go for it. [We] have great coaches who will help anyone willing to work and improve [their] game.”
Coach Steve Freker said James is “a very committed and hardworking player who has continued to improve as he has gained more experience as a varsity player.” Freker also said that Pandolfo has a “good glove and an accurate arm defensively in the infield and he has improved quite a bit at the plate as a hitter. He is working to main consistent contact, like all good ballplayers, and driving in runners when given the opportunity. Defensively, his is working to improve his arm strength and getting a quicker release with the ball.” Freker is expecting a “strong season” from Pandolfo and is hoping to be able to provide some leadership for a team that is pretty “young overall.”
The team’s goal is to win as much as possible and make the state tournament. Pandolfo’s personal goal is to be a leader for the team and make “[his] senior year [his] best year.” After high school, Pandolfo intends on “attending college next fall and majoring in journalism but [he hasn’t] decided where [he wants] to go yet.”
The MHS baseball coaching staff encourages anyone interested and who would like to try baseball as a spring sport, to “come and join an enthusiastic group of student-athletes who have been working very hard since he preseason began.”