Get our newsletters

Golden Hawks look to take flight


In Council Rock South’s second game this year, senior Chase Ennis no-hit Bensalem.

“I began to settle down,” Ennis recalled. “In the beginning of the game, I got behind in counts and had to work out of that. But in the back half of the game I got ahead and my stuff got better.”

In CR South’s fourth game, Reed Curtier and Billy O’Neill combined to one-hit Pennsbury.

“We’re pretty deep,” noted South head coach Greg Paprocki. “Reed Curtier, a sophomore, has started very strong. He is a guy we think could be just as good as Chase by the time he is a senior. He is very competitive and has very good stuff. His brother Mason, a Lock Haven commit, is strong as well. He throws in the mid-80s and throws multiple pitches for strikes.

“I have six guys I could give the ball to at any point,” Paprocki concluded.

In CR South’s opener, Ennis and Reed Curtier combined to strike out 12 Archbishop Ryan Raiders while tossing a four-hitter in a 6-1 win.

“We have senior leadership and we return a lot of guys with varsity experience. I think that goes a long way playing in such a competitive league,” Paprocki noted. Guys like Tyler (Harper), Chase, Sammy Serpiello and Mason Curtier. They all started last year. Obviously there are lessons learned that they can apply those to their senior year.”

South has a balanced lineup to complement its pitching. Five Golden Hawks entered Saturday’s CR North game hitting .300 or better. The Golden Hawks stood at 4-1 (3-1 SOL) after their wild 11-8 win over North at Trenton Thunder Ballpark. O’Neill banged out four hits, including two doubles, and closed the game on the mound.

“I feel like we’re strong 1 through 9,” said Harper, a senior catcher. “The key to having a successful line up is having guys from the bottom that can roll the lineup. You’re really only as strong as your weakest link and I don’t think we have a weak link this year.”

Ennis, a Penn State-signee, is the focal point of a good pitching staff. While Ennis always aspired to play major college baseball, “in the winter of my junior year, I threw a lot with Coach Paprocki and my club team. They both opened my mind and said I had the potential to be a Power Five pitcher,” Ennis shared. “I got into the weight room a lot that winter. Things trended upward after that.”

Curtier benefits from pitching with Ennis, just like Ennis benefited last season from teammate Trey Sajeski, who now pitches for Binghamton.

“It was awesome. We talked about everything,” Ennis remembered. “We were friends outside of baseball. We had similar routines before we pitched.”

“Our pitching staff is just as strong as it has ever been since I have been here,” Paprocki echoed last week. “A lot of guys have been sitting and practicing, chomping at the bit waiting for their opportunity. With this rain, it doesn’t help but we’re trying to keep them fresh with intrasquads and live at-bats. We keep it in their head that they will get their opportunity and when it comes, they will do great.”

There is the rub. The Golden Hawks, between weather and scheduled breaks, will have just five games under their belt when they play CB East on April 15. East starts a gauntlet of 11 games over 17 days.

“I think we’re equipped to manage a high intensity competitive schedule with the depth that we have, the experience that we have and the mentality of our team,” Paprocki said. “Whatever is thrown our way, we’re going to handle it the best way possible and compete all the way through.”

“We’ve been working hard,” Harper added. “We’ve had a lot of indoor practices but our mentality is the same: we’re still positive and ready to go.”

Paprocki, and his charges, are eager to see what a talented team can do when they get into a groove.

“I think what you saw in our early games is a shell of what we can be. I truly believe that. I don’t think we’re playing to our potential,” Paprocki said.

“I feel like we definitely have an edge to us this year since we’re all returning from an early playoff loss,” Harper stated. “The whole offseason has been reflecting on that and having an optimistic mindset this year.”

“I know what they are capable of and I am really looking forward to getting us clicking on all cylinders,” Paprocki concluded, “because it is going to be special when they do.”

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.