Versatile Archbishop Carroll Players Ready To Compete
Nestled in the Southwestern corner of Miami-Dade County, the Archbishop Carroll Bulldogs have to get the most out of each of their players. As a private school with roughly 500 students, the Bulldogs don’t have the luxury of depth on their roster that larger schools have.
However, what they lack in numbers they make up in versatility, with a number of players able to play two, three, and sometimes four different positions on the field. That flexibility has been the key for Manager Jorge Gutierrez who has been at the helm for Carroll for the past five seasons.
“I’ve got more experience this year, we got a few transfers and I’ve got nine seniors and some of them are going to start,” Gutierrez said. “We’re a little short on pitching but we have to get it done with position players that pitch.”
The Bulldogs are fresh off a season in which they finished 8-14 and lost in the district title game to eventual Class 4A state runner-up Monsignor Pace. This season, Carroll moved down to District 3A-16 in a division that includes Marathon, Palmer Trinity, Somerset Charter, and powerhouse Westminster Christian.
“Not taking credit away from any other team but I believe the challenge in our district is Westminster Christian,” Gutierrez admitted. “They’re gonna have a good team we just have to be ready to do our job.”
For the Bulldogs, a big part of that job is going to be playing with consistency for the entire season.
“We do have players that can pitch but they’re position players, so that’s gonna be a big key how they react from one day of pitching and then they have to play their position,” Gutierrez said.” Whether its the same game or the next game and then come back to the mound whenever they have to.”
The team will rely on All-District performers like senior infielder and pitcher William Roger (.313 B.A. 19 RBI, 2 HR), junior infielder Amilcar De Cesare (.338 B.A. 16 RBI, 2 HR), senior outfielder David Salgueiro (.310 B.A. 20 R, 17 SB), and senior outfielder Anthony Gonzalez, who transferred from Westwood Christian.
Salgueiro will lead off this season and serve as the catalyst for the Bulldogs offense.
“Honestly if we don’t have him going well it will be tough to get something going because he’s our spark plug; He’s our first batter and a threat on the bases,” said Gutierrez. “We need those guys to step up and play consistent throughout the year.”
The real question for Carroll is on the mound. The pitching staff finished with an overall ERA around 4.84 last season and graduated Dean Garabedian and Richard Noa, who combined to record 64 of the teams 123 strikeouts last season. Players like Roger, De Cesare, senior Miquel Lorenzo, and junior Oswaldo Suarez saw game action last season and have to improve for the Bulldogs to compete for a chance at the playoffs.
With the addition of a handful of transfers, the Bulldogs have been able add some depth to the roster, but Gutierrez knows it will only serve as a temporary fix.
“We can’t just expect juniors and seniors to transfer every year and live like that. You have to be able to have a good core of young guys to develop,” he said.
For now Gutierrez is happy to have those transfers on the roster as he tries to get his team ready with the proper mindset for the upcoming season. Last season the Bulldogs lost focus at times and it cost them in the win column.
“The high school season is way too short for you to have three, four games that are going bad for you,” he said. “Its the consistency and hopefully with having those nine seniors it clicks.”
As the season draws closer players are ready to go to battle and prove that they can play with the best.
“I think with the team we have this year we actually can make it pretty far past districts and I think we can make is past regionals as well, possibly states,” Gonzalez said.