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BY SAVANAH RESNIK
Bulldog Nation’s excitement is growing as the baseball season nears. Pitcher John Resnik, centerfielder Dalton Deakins and catcher Andrew Carson are the seniors bringing leadership to the field. Tony Malizia, who is in his first season as head coach at South Fork High School, says to keep a close eye on pitchers Jacob Winger and Brenden Kudlinski too.
“John is going to be our number one this year; he’s a gamer on the mound. Jacob Winger should have a real breakout year this year along with Brenden Kudlinski,” said Malizia
South Fork High School’s class of seniors have the urge to win.
“There’s total leadership and work ethic that they bring to the table. That in itself speaks loud for the leadership,” said assistant coach Richard DeStefanis,
who is in his first season with the varsity team.
“Being a leader isn’t just going out there and talking and going through the motions. Doing it the right way. Not just going through the motions and just looking like you’re working.”
“It’s great to get Martin County back in our district,’ says John Winger, baseball booster board member. “You’ve got to have the rivalry and it’s got to count for something; it was great to beat them last year… twice!”
Martin County High School is one of the biggest rivalries for the Bulldogs. They hope to defeat the Tigers and bring home the Souza Classic trophy for a second year in a row.
“We have four real good teams in that district and it’s going to be a battle every week,” Malizia said. “The team that comes out of that district I think has a good chance to go to states.”
DeStefanis says that the seniors this year have more to bring than the seniors last year.
“John wants to win, Dalton wants to win, and Andrew wants to win, so we have a very competitive group to lead the younger guys,” he said.
Last season, Malizia was assistant head coach at South Fork under Mike Harper. He was the head coach of Port St. Lucie High School for 15 years before going to South Fork.
“I’ve lived in Palm City for the past 26 years, so I thought it was a nice opportunity for myself to start teaching and coaching in our own community,” said Malizia.
What does Coach Malizia plan to bring to South Fork High Schools baseball program this year?
“With baseball, there’s really not too much I feel like I need to change. There are a couple things that will be changed, but overall I think we will be doing the same thing we did last year,” Malizia says. “Mike’s like a legend out there. He was out there for so many years.”
Along with a new head coach, there are two new Bulldog coaches being added: batting coach, Charlie Frazier, originally from Miami; and DeStefanis who is moving up from junior varsity to dugout coach.
“We’re going to implement some video this year that we haven’t done in the past,” says Destefanis. “We’re going to be filming practice, filming cage work, filming game work, and were actually going to break down their swing on a camera so they can see what they’re doing wrong.”