Byrne Last Link to Trojans' Sectional Finalist Team
The only returning starter from last season's sectional championship team discusses his move across the diamond and his new teammates.
Last season was a big one for Cary-Grove’s baseball team, going to the sectional championship game.
This season has been a big change so far with 8 of the team’s nine starters all graduated from last year. The lone returner is shortstop Matt Byrne who will try to lead the Trojans back to the sectionals and beyond this season. Byrne said that he has had a lot to teach his newest teammates.
“The game is a little faster on varsity,” Byrne said. “It just takes experience to play at this level. What I’m trying to do is put them up when they are down. I’m always looking out for them and telling them what to do in certain situations.”
One other big change this season for Byrne has been switching sides of the diamond, moving from second base to shortstop replacing Michael Vilardo, who played hockey for the Chicago Steel this past winter after originally committing to play baseball at the University of Richmond but will play baseball at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. Byrne added that he has had some big shoes to fill.
“They are some big shoes to fill but it hasn’t been a big difference switching sides. I play shortstop for my travel team so I get used to it there and I’m trying to apply it here,” Byrne said.
C-G coach Don Sutherland said that Byrne brings 100 percent every day to everything he does.
“He’s one of the hardest working kids we have ever had and couple that with his positive attitude and his realization that it is a team sport and you need leadership,” Sutherland said.