Ian Dempsey ‘21
With the basketball and soccer seasons concluding relatively soon, the start of two more sports is just around the corner. Consisting of diamonds and pearls, one may be able to see where this is going. Baseball and softball give guys and girls two great sports. The criterion that makes these sports so similar includes four total bases and a mound, white lines extending from beginning to end, and bright white lights from up above. If a check can be placed next to all three desires, then it’s time to... PLAY BALL!
About one to two more weeks is left until these two words can be exclaimed as the Riverview Rams baseball and softball squads are almost ready to cross from foul into fair territory.
For Varsity baseball, the first preseason game will occur on Feb. 8 v. IMG Black at the Rams’ home field while Junior Varsity baseball has its first game one week later on Feb. 15 at Sarasota High. On the softball side of things, the Varsity squad has the first preseason game on Feb. 9 at Venice. The JV girls will play at Lakewood Ranch, once again, one week after the Varsity team gets rolling.
With last season being cut short for all the baseball and softball players because of the virus, everyone is nothing short of feeling eager to be back on the diamond. A total of eight seniors on the Varsity baseball squad and five seniors on the Varsity softball squad will be graduating this year. When all these ballplayers say good-bye to their home for four years, many will be saying hello to another new home.
The Rams’ baseball team is compiled of six commits before the season gets underway, while the softball team is compiled of just one and only one commit thus far, that being junior infielder Michelle DiPuma, who is heading to the University of Central Florida to continue her passion for the game of softball. As a matter of fact, her boyfriend, Cole Griffith, a senior catcher for the baseball squad, is committed to Polk State College, a public college in Winter Haven. The other five baseball commits include senior pitcher Karson Ligon to the University of Miami, senior outfielder Jakobi Davis to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and junior infielders Pip Smalley, Chris Barr and Clay Russin, with Smalley heading to Stetson University in DeLand, Barr heading to Army West Point in New York, and Russin staying local for two years at the State College of Florida in Bradenton.
Yet, many more commitments could be following soon as it is simply a matter of timing on each athlete’s part. Speaking of which, what could be better than some introduction videos for the upcoming season?
Thanks to Ligon, we were able to get an early glimpse of what to expect in 2021. Being nominated as the interviewer, he was in desperation of finding teammates who could answer his questions. When posed the opportunity, junior pitcher Colby Byrd and senior outfielder Ian Dempsey were extremely quick to hop on board. Their clear and concise sessions have been posted and can be found on Instagram under the Rams’ baseball page, which is riverviewramsbaseball.
The softball team also has an Instagram account that is called rhsladyramssoftball as they would appreciate more support, too. In other words, fans should be sure to follow both accounts to keep up to date with everything they need to know from final scores to motivational quotes to the life of being a Riverview Rams’ ballplayer.
Their schedules can be located on the MaxPreps website under Riverview (Sarasota) Rams as the link is as follows, https://www.maxpreps.com/high-schools/riverview-sarasota-rams-(sarasota,fl)/home.htm.
However, one important note needs to be mentioned, as the site for all home games is not on the Riverview High School campus. As a result, the baseball and softball fields are located down the road behind Suncoast Technical College at 4748 South Beneva Road.