Preview of FDU men’s spring sports
As we hit the heart of the winter, the Fairleigh Dickinson spring athletes begin preparation for the long season that lies ahead of them.
The men’s teams that compete at the Division lll level here at Fairleigh Dickinson University are the golf, tennis, lacrosse and baseball.
The golf team is managed by Roger Kindel, who is also the assistant athletic director. This year will be his 48th year at Fairleigh Dickinson and his 28th year coaching the golf team. Before becoming coach of the golf team, he was the head coach of the basketball team at FDU.
Since 2006, Kindel’s squad has won five conference championships and made four NCAA appearances. As he aims for his sixth championship in the last 11 seasons, he will do it with all returning athletes from last spring. When asked about the key to his team’s success this season, Kindel said, “We need to have two good days at the conference tournament this year. Last season we had a great second day but it wasn’t enough to pull us out of the hole we dug ourselves the first day.”
The top 6 players for the team this year will be Chris D’andrea, Daeshon Underwood, Ryan Maslen, Mike Lieberman, Brendan Demitus and Chris Budd.
The tennis team will open up its season on Saturday, Feb. 25, against hometown rival Drew University. The Devils finished second in the conference last year, losing to tennis powerhouse Wilkes University 5-0 in the 2016 conference championship. Wilkes has won the conference the past nine years in a row.
The Devils have been chosen second overall again this year in the MAC Freedom poll as they strive to be the team to finally knock off Wilkes and win the conference.
Coming off of a 6-9 losing season, the men’s lacrosse team looks to rebound off of last season and make a push for the playoffs. The MAC Freedom poll also indicates that FDU could make a playoff run, as it has ranked the Devils fourth in the preseason poll. The Devils return two of their top players from the 2016 season with Dan Decker and David Stewart. Stewart also was the Devils’ leading scorer last year, with 22 goals. The team also will get some help this year with two transfer attackmen, Alec Orazietti and John Belanger. Sophomore goalie Tom Tornetto said, “We’re looking to make some noise this year in the MAC.”
After losing its entire outfield and a chunk of the pitching staff, the Devils baseball team has some spots to fill. As Andy Paulus enters his 10th season as head coach, he will have a lot of new faces taking the field this year. All of the infielders return for the 2017 season but the outfield will be new. According to Captain Nick DeAngelis, the outfield is shaping up to look like Garrett Ruoff in left field, Ben Thompson in right field and DeAngelis himself in centerfield. The Devils pitching staff took a bit of a toll due to injuries and other complications. Sophomore pitcher Brad Norris, along with freshman pitchers Logan Brown and Frank Chessa, will need to play big roles in the team’s staff this year. DeAngelis said, “We have a lot of talent and I think we could be very good, but we are going to need a lot of guys to step up, especially in the pitching staff.”