Play ball? Not for students at Fremont High

There will be no baseball team at Fremont High School for the first time since the 1940s.

According to coach Noil Angelo, only five players showed up for practice in late January ready to play ball, but there were not enough students to fill the team. Nine players are needed for a baseball team, and the Tigers were short four players.

Angelo, now a softball coach, was disappointed when the season was cancelled.

“I was very sad,” said Angelo. “I have coached baseball for 25 years [and] have been head coach at Fremont for 13 years. Baseball is my favorite sport. I started playing at eight years old.”

Some players tried to play for Castlemont, but the Oakland Athletic League said players would have to transfer to the school full-time in order to play.

“I was mad when I found out that Fremont wasn’t going to have a baseball team. The only reason why I come to school [is so] I can get scouted to go to college,” said

Adrian Verduzco, who played pitcher and first baseman for the Tigers last year.

“Also, [being on the baseball team] motivated me to get good grades in order for me to go to college.”

The news hit the Angelo family especially hard.

Both of coach Angelo’s sons, Noil Angelo III and Michael Angelo, played on the baseball team when they attended Fremont.

“When my dad told me that Fremont didn’t have a baseball team, I blamed it on him because he is a baseball coach, not a softball coach. I think he could have got some students to play,” said Noil Angelo III.

Fremont has had a lot of people come to play on the baseball team, and even some of their younger cousins, brothers and uncles come to Fremont for the baseball team.

Now that there is no baseball team, many students feel disappointed.

“I was lightweight upset when I went to practice and found out there wasn’t going to be a baseball team because baseball is fun and I needed something else to keep me focused on my grades besides basketball.” said Media Academy junior Darnell Waters. “Without sports I don’t really feel school.”

Fremont has had a varsity and junior varsity team every year that Angelo was the coach. The teams started out every year with a fall league, which lasted from October until December. They also had an summer league, in which Fremont won three championships.

Former Tiger players who heard the news are upset at what has happened.

“The only reason I came to Fremont was to play baseball,” said Juan Mendoza, who played baseball from 1999 to 2003. “My uncles and cousins played at Fremont. It is very sad that the best sport in the world is not being played at Fremont High School.”