On Tuesday, February 16, the Springstead High School baseball team led by coach Joe Pepitone and new head coach Jeff Gilesspi, took to the field for their first home game of the season. The team played against Crystal River and coach Joe commented, “It’s great to be back on the ball field after a year of shutting everything down. The boys are excited, the athletic director Dustin Kupcik, and Principal Mrs. Dana Pearce are all excited about our upcoming season!” Be sure to keep up with your Eagles baseball team as they make headway in the upcoming season. Joe added, “As far as players to watch, we have some fantastic talent coming up here in Hernando County and at Springstead HS.” I know we are all looking forward to seeing it!
For such a significant game, the SHS baseball team wanted to do something big to commemorate it. It was “America Night” and coach Joe Pepitone is a Marine veteran who served during the Vietnam era. He partnered with the Marine Corps League and the American Legion to have a ceremony in honor of veterans and first responders. They wanted to do this to show appreciation for their work and fighting for our freedom. Not only for going above and beyond during the pandemic that's still on-going, but for the selfless work they do every day.
Springstead High School band performed at the ceremony, led by Rick Dasher. Sheriff Al Nienhuis and the HCSO Color Guard, the Marine Corps Color Guard and the American Legion Color Guard also appeared. Sheriff Nienhuis, WWII Veteran James Thompson and Pastor Anthony Caruwana an Iraq/ Gulf War veteran threw the first pitches of the game!
The American Legion, commonly known as the Legion, is a nonprofit organization of U.S. war veterans. The Marine Corps League is the only congressionally chartered United States Marine Corps-related veterans organization in the United States. The mission of the Marine Corps League is to promote the interest and to preserve the traditions of the United States Marine Corp.
The ceremony was beautiful and went off without a hitch. After the first pitch, a moment of silence was observed before the game took off!
It was a tough battle for the Eagles as they fell 5-4 to Crystal River.
Be sure to keep up with your Eagles athletics for updates on games’ scores and information.
Correction Issued 2/25/2021: The article was edited to replace "first responder" with Pastor Anthony Caruwana an Iraq/ Gulf War veteran. Pastor Caruwana threw out the first pitch with Sheriff Nienhuis, and World War II Veteran James Thompson.