On Aug. 21, the Mercy College Department of Athletics announced the creation of the school’s first-ever Junior Varsity Softball team. The program, which will be led by Head Coach Anthony Adolino, will begin competition in the Spring of 2014.
Mercy Chief Operating Officer Joseph Schaefer, Director of Athletics Pat Kennedy, and Head Varsity Softball Coach Mike Fazio were all instrumental in bringing the idea of a JV program to life. Beginning next Spring, the JV Softball team will play a competitive schedule against junior colleges and other JV programs.
“Student-athletes in general, and softball players specifically, are some of the best students on campus,” said Kennedy. “Adding JV Softball will add to the academic competitiveness of the student body, as well as enhance student life campus-wide.”
If a student-athlete is competing on the JV squad, then her NCAA eligibility clock starts. A year on the JV team is equivalent to a season on the varsity squad. Numerous advantages come with this new JV program. Coach Fazio, Coach Adolino and theirs staffs will be able to implement the style of play and fundamentals they want the Mavericks to exhibit, and have the student-athletes hone these skills. Adding the JV team increases the depth of the Mercy softball program and allows Coach Fazio flexibility and additional options if an injury occurs, the team is struggling or another piece is needed to complete a playoff-caliber crew.
“I am excited about the opportunities that the JV will provide for the student-athletes and the program. It will give us necessary depth at all positions and enhance our ability to develop our younger players by giving them more opportunities to compete initially on entering the program in freshmen year,” commented Fazio.
Fazio added, “We haven’t played a single JV game, yet it has already enhanced our ability to recruit more high-quality student-athletes. Our recruiting class this year is the largest in program history, with 20 academically sound, talented freshmen joining the program. The valuable playing experience they will get as freshmen, on a day-to-day basis will make them stronger players later in their careers. I think it is a win-win for both our players and our softball program.”