A very busy fall season could be in store for John Calabrese when Lodi High School?s doors swing open for his senior year next month. Already established as a baseball player, he is considering making it a two-sport season.
“I might play football again,” the 6-foot-2, 185-pound onetime quarterback said as he looked ahead while reflecting on the past. “I played my freshman and sophomore years, but I didn?t play my junior year because I wanted to focus on baseball. Now, it?s my last time in high school and I?d like to get back out there.”
Calabrese also must mull baseball coach Kurt Geisler?s thought of fielding a fall baseball team.
“I?m definitely 100 percent for that,” Calabrese assured. “And coach said we?d be playing on Sundays, so that wouldn?t interfere with football.”
Geisler said something else important pertaining to the versatile athlete, who is a lefty batter and righty thrower.
“We?ll need John to be a workhorse,” the coach emphasized. “He pitched and rotated between shortstop and third base last [season] and we?ll definitely need him to be productive.”
Last spring, Calabrese hit .335 and was 3-1 on the mound as the Rams? No. 3 pitcher, the lone loss being by a 1-0 score. He throws a fastball, curve and slider, and likely will be Geisler?s ace.
“I?m ready; I like to have the ball in my hand,” he said. “We?re losing seven senior starters [through graduation], so we?ve got spots to fill. But we have a lot of good, young players coming up.”
Last year, the Rams came alive and reached the Group 2 semifinals before being eliminated by Lenape Valley.
“I definitely saw that coming,” Calabrese said of his team?s strong season. “We?re a small town and we?re all friends and we?ve been playing together from T-ball all the way up.”
This Senior Spotlight is the result of a Varsity Aces poll asking readers to choose a subject. Calabrese handily won and laughed when notified.
“Like I said, Lodi is a small town and everybody is close,” he said, grateful for the support.
During the summer, he has worked out with his father, John Sr., a former Lodi catcher who has coached Lodi?s fall team the past two years, and batting coach Bob Frassa, who starred at Emerson and played professionally.
A high-honors student, Calabrese expects to play college baseball and study communications or broadcast journalism.
Considering his three baseball positions, Calabrese said, “I have no preference. I like that [left] side of the infield and I like to pitch. I just enjoy being on the field.”
And it remains likely that he?ll be enjoying himself on two fields in the fall.
HS baseball: Lodi’s John Calabrese mulls return to football – NorthJersey.com