The upperclassmen on this roster are expected to be a strong point for the Bulldogs this season.
During his sophomore year at Flagler Palm Coast High School, Bulldogs pitcher Aedan Celestino velocity on his pitches topped out at around 72 mph.
In the offseason, he — and the rest of the team — hit the weight room. When the Bulldogs hosted tryouts before the start of the 2019 season, the radar gun read 82 mph on Celestino’s pitches.
The upperclassmen on this roster, like Celestino, are expected to be a strong point for the Bulldogs this season.
“We’ve got good leaders. We’ve got kids who have learned how to be leaders on the field and off the field,” Butler said. “We’ve got kids who never miss practice, never miss a workout. They always work hard. Then you mix in some talented kids with that, and I think you have a recipe to be successful.”
While the Bulldogs do return multiple key players — D’Emiliano Whiters, Charlie Alfano and Jace Wilson, among others — rosters change throughout high school.
But the expectations always remain the same: to win games.
There are weaknesses however. Despite having a talented pitcher in Celestino, who Butler called a “workhorse last season,” the Bulldogs lack a hurler with elite velocity.
The Bulldogs also struggle with consistency in their hitting.
“We throw strikes, we make plays, we are aggressive at the plate,” Butler said, “and hopefully we’ll come away with wins.”
Whiters is a four-year starter for the Bulldogs. He played shortstop his freshman and sophomore years. He transitioned to second base his junior year. Now, he’s playing both positions.
“We’re playing as a team,” he said. “We’re playing hard.”