Trouble in paradise?

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The baseball team looks to turn the season around after falling to 0-1.

Kevin Madley, Staff Writer

East Lake baseball has created an environment of winning. When teams wake up in the morning, check the schedule, and see they are playing East Lake, they fully expect to lose. Since head coach Zach Roper began running the show in 2016, the Eagles have won at least 20 games each year. This is a feat that very few teams are able to achieve for even one season, let alone four years straight. The competitive culture that this organization has created is totally unmatched. The pure talent that has been building throughout the past few years has been superior to any other team in the area. Names like Cooper Nelson, Josh Pigozzo, Ryan Slater, and Lucas Ismali make other teams tremble. This 2020 season has been labeled as “the season” for years. During the two preseason games, the boys looked a bit rusty losing their first game to Sickles and tying our rival, PHU. While of course this isn’t the result that they were hoping for, no one was too concerned. This was a normal thing for this team. As a matter of fact, they haven’t been victorious in a single preseason game in 6 years. The boys knew that it was time to go to work. After winning the first 20 games of the season last year, this team is in the spotlight around the county. They looked to get after it by getting in the win column against Clearwater for the first game of the season. But there was one problem: they lost.

Clearwater pretty much ran the table, winning 7-1. This was both a shock and a wake-up call for everyone involved in the program given that Clearwater isn’t a good team at all. Unfortunately, Lucas Ismali recently suffered a broken wrist, Cooper Nelson is recovering from hand surgery, and Ryan Slater is having some arm issues. Luckily, Cooper Nelson looks to return soon, but the remainder of the injuries look to be long-term. These injuries put a lot of pressure on other players on the team to step up. Offense looks to be the biggest concern for the future, having only one hit in Wednesday night’s game. This loss may not be the worst thing in the world, as it should fire out boys up. Hopefully the Eagles have what it takes to turn it around. Senior Kyle Ericson says that “I think we can turn this season around.” Only time will tell.