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The Student News Site of St. Charles North High School


The Student News Site of St. Charles North High School


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North Baseball bats in Nashville

Kathy Spotts
Stars pose for a picture on the field after game

Over spring break, North varsity baseball took a trip down south to Nashville, Tennessee to kick their season off with lots of competition and team bonding. 

This trip was one of many that have happened in the history of North baseball, with the past 14 of them being under varsity head coach Todd Genke. 

“We try to change up the location where we go, and try to provide different opportunities for the kids. But in general, it’s just a great opportunity to have them all together, focus only on baseball, and the team and the chemistry that can be built,” Genke said.

North Stars cheering before game. (Kathy Spotts)

Over the course of their trip, the Stars faced a lot of different competition. They played a local team from Nashville, and other teams from Alabama, Indiana, and Ohio, ending with a record of four wins to one loss. These kinds of trips can have huge benefits to the team, allowing them to get closer together and develop trust on and off the field.

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“The overall goal is to just be together and play together, go out to dinner together, be on the bus together and just always be with each other. Because in the end, I think that’s a huge advantage of teams that do things like this. Because when it comes to some adversity during the season, they’re better equipped to handle that,” Genke explained.

North dugout during game. (Kathy Spotts)

When they weren’t playing, the team visited the Stones Creek Civil War Battlefield, allowing them to add in an educational component to their trip. They also watched a Vanderbilt University baseball game and got to meet the coach and walk on the field. 

“All of these elements and layers of team and chemistry are really important. And that’s really the goal. That’s what we want to try to develop when taking them on these trips,” said Genke. 

Throughout the trip, the boys were able to further develop their leadership skills. Seniors Michael Buono and Jackson Spring are two players who especially stood out in that regard. 

“Both those guys have been on varsity for a couple of years, they understand how we operate, and the things that we do. And that leadership component is a big part of it. You see them do things that they don’t have to be told to do, and they help other players understand. I say it all the time, when it comes from a player it just means more than when it comes from a coach,” Genke said. 

Seniors Josh Caccia and Parker Reinke also stepped up in their roles. 

“Josh Caccia did a really nice job with our pitching staff, leading those kids, and Parker Reinke as well, he’s really taken a leadership role for our outfield positions. Seeing all of those guys develop in their leadership roles really helps the team come together and it really develops these bonds and relationships that last long after the season’s over,” Genke said. 

The Alabama team that the Stars played were ranked third in the state with 30 games already under their belt as opposed to the 3 that the stars had under theirs.

“That’s tough when a team’s already played almost their whole season, but we hung with them, we had a lead in the fifth inning six to four. And unfortunately, we didn’t hold on to it. But I think it’s great for our kids to see talent like that. I think it’s great for us to compete against talent like that. I think at the end of the day, even though we did not win, we learned some valuable lessons about who we are and what our team was going to be, we competed at a very high level and it was a lot of fun,” Genke said.

North Stars during game. (Kathy Spotts)

Looking back on the trip, it was a great experience for all of the players, giving them memories to hold onto for the rest of their lives. 

“Baseball is not life or death. Playing baseball is a game, and athletics are opportunities to show your character,” said Genke, “we had a lot of great moments, great memories, and the kids and our team will remember those moments and memories, more than they’ll ever remember wins and losses. And I think at the end of the day when you teach kids life lessons and they can create those memories, that means a lot to me and our program.”

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About the Contributor
Alex Bardouniotis
Alex Bardouniotis, Sports Editor
Alex is a writer for the Stargazer. She is a senior at North and has been on the staff since November 2021. Alex engages in student journalism because digging deeper into real life events, problems, and situations, as well as exploring different angles and perceptions of things, is super fun! It also helps you, and others, to understand the way society works.

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    Cara BuonoApr 12, 2024 at 3:43 pm

    What a great summary of a memorable and fun trip! We were thrilled that the kids got to participate in a team trip this year. Thank you coaches, for taking the time to pour into the boys and give them an experience that they will never forget!