Despite the irregularities in sports right now, this start date is normal for a traditional season. Head coach Johnny Wiggs, said that they have made a lot of changes to prepare for the new season.
The team has not actively competed on the field since March 9, 2020 when the baseball world shut down due to the pandemic.
The Team Makeup
A handful of players on the roster remain local, five coming from Gainesville and several from the surrounding cities.
Coach Wiggs said that one of the perks of having players from near by, is the fans that will come to support and the excitement that they bring to the games.
With 35 players total, Wiggs said that one of their greatest strengths as a team is the depth of their position players. The team, has potential to play strong defense this season, Wiggs said, as long as they remain focused week-to-week. Not to say that he does not believe in their offensive skills as well, though.
Teams were allowed to have extra players on the roster this year in case of COVID-19 health issues. This resulted in two additional members for Santa Fe.
After losing several pitchers to big universities, Wiggs said that he is going to need other players to step up.
Right handed pitcher, Brooks Walton, is expected to lead the team pitching this season.
Behind him is left-handed pitcher, Robb Adams. Wiggs said Adams got experience to help the team from his time playing at the University of Virginia.
Nonetheless, Wiggs said that there are still lots of shoes to fill on the mound.
The Saints plan to play three games in the first four day of the season. They start with HCC, then TNXL Academy, followed by Indian River State College and St. Petersburg College on Sunday.
Wiggs said that the team will be allowing fans to attend in-person, but that there will be limitations on numbers. Due to COVID-19, the Saints will be playing fewer games than normal, but their schedule is mostly consistent with that of a typical year. The lost games were mainly against northern teams, Wiggs said. Santa Fe College will still get the opportunity to play 47 games in the regular season this year.
The Baseball Season
Wiggs said that Florida baseball teams are always very competitive in the NJCAA. His biggest concern though, is his players’ excitement to play their first few games.