By: Matt Rothman
The work Coach Charlie Fine and his coaching staff have put into his team are starting to pay off.
Coral Springs Charter baseball has become one of the better teams in Broward County and had huge plans to make a big run this season for a District Championship.
Unfortunately, with COVID-19 shutting down all high school sports for the season, the Panthers were unable to finish off their year after getting off to a 7-3 start.
For 11 seniors, their high school baseball career did not end the way they would have hoped, but Fine could not be prouder of the group he had.
“Most of them have been in the program since sixth grade and played a significant role in getting Coral Springs Charter baseball to where it is today. They have set the bar high for what we want in our players, and I am excited about the future.”
Currently, they have four players that are committed to playing baseball collegiately in Chris Kahler (George Washington University), Gavin Barnell (Flagler College), Justin Chung (Palm Beach Atlantic), and Andrew Russ0 (Penn State York).
With ten wins, Kahler has been a star on the mound in his three years with the Panthers. He has yet to allow a run 12.1 innings pitched this season, including a win and a save this season serving as a co-captain.
The other CSC captain is Barnell, who already earned two wins and led the team with 31 strikeouts in 15.1 innings this year. The Panthers also will be losing both Glenn Warden and Joey Campbell from their rotation. Both pitchers had wins this season and were a part of one of the greatest rotations in school history.
On the infield, the Panthers had three different seniors in catcher Brayden Virgins, second baseman Matt Vargas, and Chung, who plays shortstop. All three of these players were hitting north of .300 as Chung led the team with a .429 batting average. He also led the team with 12 RBI’s and 11 runs.
The final four seniors this season are Jonathan Cofresi, Nick Giglio, and Alejandro Boing, and Russo. Cofresi played in 53 games in his varsity career and was hitting .348 this season. Giglio had seven hits in 28 at-bats this season. Boing stepped up last season when the team had four injuries and caught some of the final games of the season, and Russo was playing his first season on the team.
Despite losing many for their key players this season, Fine is confident with the returning group. He saw many players make a name for themselves through the first ten games and feel like the future is very bright.
The returning players feel like they have unfinished business as well. Fine met with many of them and said next year would be extremely special.
“They feel like they owe it to the seniors to finish what they started,” Fine said. “I’m excited for next year and hope we can make this senior class proud.”
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- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is now attending the University of Florida as a graduate student. Matt also covers the New York Islanders for The Hockey Writer, the New York Mets for Last Word on Baseball and Florida Gators Athletics for ESPN Gainesville.
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