Cranford High School baseball season preview


Kevin Donovan, writer

The Cranford High school baseball team looks to bounce back following a disappointing 14-10 season. The Cougars were one hit away from a State Championship two years ago, but were unable to succeed the following year. Gordon Graceffo, a star pitcher who helped lead Cranford’s team, graduated last year and now plays for Villanova at a Division I level. Fortunately, Cranford’s experience will benefit them as they head towards the new season. The Cougars are searching for both underclassmen and upperclassmen to step up and make a positive impact.

In a conference with Westfield, Scotch Plains, Elizabeth, Union, and Governor Livingston, Cranford has its work cut out for them. Considering the team’s lack of success last year, there are new spots available which allows new players to be given opportunities. Coach McCaffery, the varsity baseball coach, consistently preaches that the team’s goal every season is to win 5 championships: Conference, Counties, Sections, NJ States, and the State Championship. This is what motivates all of the players to work hard during the offseason and preseason.

The Cougars’ aren’t starting easy. They will start their season by hosting the defending Conference Champions, Scotch Plains, on April 2nd at Memorial Field. Following that game, they will travel to face the defending County Champions, Westfield Blue Devils. Cranford will have to have a State Champion mentality during every game they play. As in most sports, the team will look to improve everyday through hard work and dedication. “Every game is a big game” type of mentality lacked throughout last season, but is this year’s main focus. This year’s team will look to continue the tradition of success that has seen three State Championships as well as six Section Titles in the last 9 years.