Houston Street Rivals Join Forces to Play Ball (right?)
Alexander “Paper Raptor” Ganias, ‘20
When you first get accepted into BHSEC, there is one school you are always taught to be weary of. Even if you’ve attended that school before, you almost cringe when you hear the school name: NEST. What is it about this school that makes them almost vilified? Are their students bad people? Did their teachers vandalize our building? Do we take care of Houston St. better? Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter anymore; because now, the two schools are merging to create a Bard-NEST United baseball club. Yes you read that right.
For two and one-third seasons, BHSEC has fielded a competitive, non-PSAL, club-level team, that has squared off with schools such as Percy Sutton Educational Campus, Stuyvesant, Art & Design, and Murry Bergtraum. For those years, the team have seen many highs and many lows; in a grand total of ten games, the Raptors have gone 6-4. Through all the adversity that has been a part of this group since early 2017, the team has stuck together, and have made great strides in promoting the program, in hopes that the PSAL will finally allow them into the league. This season has been different however; with an inconsistent number of players that show up to practices and games, and the allure of attracting the PSAL fading, Coaches Michael Schneider and Charles Sewell reached out to noted rival NEST+m, in hopes to acquire their baseball club. It worked; on Tuesday, April 9th, Bard and NEST held their first joint practice.
The first spread of this news to the baseball club resulted in confusion and some disappointment: This would mean that Bard and NEST players alike would have to get to know new faces again, some of which will be gone by semester’s end; it would also mean having to come up with a weird name or something like that (the Best Nard-Dogs was once suggested). And what would the uniforms look like? Ugh, purple black and red, no thanks. It was clear that this wouldn’t necessarily sit well with members of the Bard club, but eventually they’d learn to live with it. “I think that the team has had the chance to evolve…, and build something better than Bard or NEST.” said Kendall Hunte (Y2) on the status of the merger. He would later add on that “... the Bard kids have casually eased into it, without much struggle”. For all of the problems that could arise from something like this, it seems that the team and coaching staff are taking this in stride. Coach Michael Schneider made clear that the team will be treated as one singular entity: “As far as I’m concerned, once they cross that line onto the baseball field, there’s just one team, Bard and NEST”.
Although this seems like a good idea to try and finally field a PSAL caliber team, it’s hard to play baseball as a team when there is no baseball to be played. To start, the NYC Parks Department finally decided to replace the atrocious turf at Baruch Field, meaning the field is closed until they are done; this will be well after the conclusion of the season. Many scrimmages have also been called because of weather this season, and there seems to be no salvation in sight. The coaching staff is looking forward to next season to see what this team will become; and with the future of Bard/NEST baseball in the balance, it’s best to just cross your fingers and hope that this will all pan out in the end.
And with that being said, it’s been a pleasure writing for the Bardvark on the BHSEC Athletic programs. I hope that you found my pieces informative, and that I’ve given you honest reporting. I can’t wait to come back next year as a sports reporter for BHSEC, and hopefully, we’ll win a championship or two. Thank you.