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Vukovcan: The Long-Term Future of Baseball in Hopewell is Certainly Bright!

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The primary purpose of this website is to provide information regarding the local teams and players in Hopewell and to report on all the positive things that are happening.

Along those lines, there isn’t a sport in Hopewell that consistently has more encouraging things happening than the baseball programs.

Whether it’s the high school baseball team, the junior high, pony league or even the Hopewell Youth program, the baseball players and baseball teams in our town are getting it done on the field.

A larger discussion on why that’s the case can certainly be had, a short and simple answer can be the coaching and time players put in is the biggest reason, but I’ll save that complicated topic for a future column.

The intent of today’s commentary is simply to say that the Vikings baseball program is strong and that isn’t going to change anytime soon.

Coach Morgan Singletary’s program has won the WPIAL championship two of the last 3 seasons and despite having an extremely young team this season, the Vikings qualified for the playoffs again and ended up losing in the 1st round.

The biggest thing to come from this past season was the experience that these players gained. This team had to battle just to make the playoffs and were successful in doing. With just 3 starters having graduated, a large core of the team will return, namely starting pitchers David Medich, Kingston Krotec, Ben McDonald along with Charlie Smetana, Zach Gigliotti and Logan Triscilla.

With the returning pitchers and the development and opportunity that others will make over the next calendar year, I like their chances of making another long run in the playoffs next season.

The only way for teams to enjoy success year after year and to uphold a standard of excellence is to have a solid support system.

Hopewell baseball is able to remain a winner due to the fact that they have a tremendous program from top down to the bottom, meaning the youth programs.

Take a look at what’s been going on in Hopewell baseball over the last few months.

It started with Nick Hoth and the Junior High Program that finished with a record of 8-3, despite winning just 1 game in 2023. That’s quite the improvement!

Following that, Jamie Yurcina and Brandon Davis saw their Pony League team win the 2024 Beaver County Pony League Championship, despite entering as a No. 7 seed.

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You don’t win that much without talent, which means that the high school program will be adding some young players to their roster in 2025. Whether it’s next season or the year after, some of those 8th graders will be having an impact on the high school team in the near future.

That’s how you sustain winning, by replacing talented players that graduate with other talented young players. As the saying goes, ‘winning programs don’t rebuild, they reload’.

The good news is it doesn’t stop there.

The 7th grade crop has a few kids that play a lot of baseball and some of them will eventually be starters and contributors in Coach Singletary’s program.

Looking even further, the incoming 7th grade group is very deep, and some will push for starting positions on the junior high team next season and because of the numbers, could allow Hopewell to field two Pony League teams in 2025. That would be great because more kids will have the opportunity to get extensive playing time.

And this past weekend, I was fortunate enough to watch Hopewell’s 11-year-old All-Star team win the Hopewell Tournament. That group of players has talent!

The moral of this story is that the long-term future of baseball in Hopewell is certainly bright and filled with plenty of optimism.

If you’re the opposition and are expecting the winning to stop anytime soon, you’d be wrong.

As a wise man always tells me, “Winning Is Fun”, and there’s no reason why it won’t be continuing over the next handful of years in Hopewell.

Go Vikings!

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