The J. Taylor Finley Middle School softball team was remarkably competitive considering all but two players on the roster were seventh graders and the squad frequently squared off against far more experienced opponents.
Finley compiled a 3-5 mark under head coach Nancy Conlon. “This year’s team was like a family,” the coach said. “It worked hard and played hard. They improved every day. They had fun and learned the game.”
Conlon said the top players included seventh graders Sophia Toscano, Victoria Mangan, Maddie Bavaro and Teddi Carnesi. The four formed the nucleus of the Falcon squad.
“Sophia is an experienced catcher with a strong arm,” Conlon said. “She’s a leader on and off the field.”
Mangan shined on the mound for Finley. “Victoria throws hard and is always working to improve,” Conlon said.
Carnesi was the team’s standout shortstop. “Teddi is a tough infielder with a strong arm,” the coach added.
Bavaro excelled at first base, digging out of the dirt many errant throws. “Maddie does a great job,” Conlon said.
Victories over rugged Oldfield and Northport were the highlight of the season. “Everything came together,” Conlon said. “Our bats were strong and the defense was solid.”
Carnesi, Toscano and eighth grader Jordan Cook served as team captains. The roster also included seventh graders Lauren Holly, Jasjeet Kaur, Noa Kimmelman, Alexandra Kustera, Lauren Landolfi, Kathryn Sanseviro and Kristen Toomey and eighth grader Autumn Herkommer.
Looking ahead to next spring, Finley is optimistic. “There are 11 seventh graders who I would hope to see again next year,” Conlon said.