One could consider the wipeout of the 2020 season by the COVID pandemic an equalizer, putting everyone on the same playing field. No one got to play high school baseball last year.
But from district to district, as things played out, some were left facing bigger obstacles than others.
Take Woodbridge. Though the Last Dance Baseball Tournament – organized by St. Joseph-Metuchen coach and Athletic Director Mike Murray – was meant to give seniors one last go ’round, others played, too.
But not the Barrons. It looked for a while like there might be some type of Mayor’s Cup series between Woodbridge, Colonia and JFK, but that never materialized.
Fast forward to 2020, where the NJSIAA made every effort possible to have a “normal” season since the Spring was the only season entirely cancelled last year, and the Barrons already have had a COVID pause. Their pitchers and catchers – more than half the team – all were in quarantine due to contact tracing, and only recently were able to resume practicing.
And then there’s Mike Monaco, who wouldn’t normally have to do the juggling act he’s doing now: handling the confluence of wrestling and baseball seasons, which are overlapping after wrestling was moved to start later in the winter season. He’s both the baseball and wrestling head coach.
Woodbridge travels to take on Edison Monday on the first Opening Day for high school baseball in New Jersey in two years. It’s also the debut broadcast of Greater Middlesex Conference Baseball on Central Jersey Sports Radio.
LIVE coverage begins at 3:40 pm, with first pitch at 4:00. And you can listen by clicking here. Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas will call all the action. Game sponsors include Derby Appliance, Edison Boys Baseball League, and Ideal Tire Systems of Edison.