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Taravella Unveils Inaugural HOF Class, Jason Stein Field

The new entrance to Jason Stein Field, home of the Taravella Trojans baseball team at Taravella High.

It’s not very often that there is reason to celebrate even despite taking a tough loss. But Thursday’s baseball action between the visiting Spruce Creek Hawks and the host Taravella Trojans provided an occasion to leave the field happy no matter which team you root for.

Taravella officially unveiled the newly-completed grand entrance to Jason Stein Field, proudly displaying the namesake of the late coach and athletic director who passed away from COVID in 2020. The baseball program also announced its inaugural Hall of Fame class, as these 12 members became the first honorees recognized with individual plaques on the team’s newly-constructed Wall of Fame.

The Taravella Trojans Baseball Wall of Fame.

Spruce Creek played spoilers on the field, with a 5-1 decision. Garrett Grant was a force on the mound, going five-and-a-third innings with 11 strikeouts to lead the Hawks (15-5) to victory.

“It was nice to recognize so many great players of the past tonight with the Hall of Fame ceremony,” Taravella Manager Joe Giummule said. “I was thankful for the generous donations from the Class of 1984 to finish the Jason Stein Field entrance that was started four years ago, and a special thanks to Cohen & Sons Wealth Management for making tonight happen. Unfortunately, we didn’t play well and lost in a rain-shortened game.”

Before the runs against and rain came, there was plenty to cheer. The majestic look and name impact of the field entrance helped everyone fondly recall memories of the late Coach Stein, who is remembered as being one of Taravella’s most rambunctious and jovial leaders. Stein spent 17 years at Taravella, first as the baseball coach and then as the Athletic Director. He is also one of the 12 inaugural members of the Hall of Fame.

Some of those guys are now Hall of Famers!

Along with Coach Jason Stein, Taravella honored 11 other former Trojans on Thursday. Individual plaques were unveiled for the 1984 District Champion Team, John Toale (Class of 1983), Coach Larry Napp (1982-1993), Coach Sal DeSantis (1983-1994), Matt Ford (Class of 1999), Steven “Scooby” Morgan (Class of 1992), Coach Mike Moss (1993-2003), Robbie Widlansky (Class of 2003), Alex Froloff (Class of 2001), Todd Ozias (Class of 1994) and Eric Genden (Class of 1993).

Occasions and instances like this are examples of greatness through the game of baseball. Today’s era of transfer portals and travel programs has lessened the bond that communities have with their local sports programs. As the ceremony unfolded, it cannot be overlooked the impact it had on the players just to interact and know some of their former peers who donned the same navy and gray once before. Something like that brings the names on the plaques to life, and hopefully adds further inspiration to today’s team to someday achieve such greatness themselves that they may also find their name on that wall some time in the years ahead.

Photo from Melissa Ceccofiglio.

Thursday’s action certainly provided a glimpse at some of those ballot-potential guys. After falling behind by giving up three runs in the top of the second inning, Taravella (14-6) answered back with its only run in the third. Jonathan Lopez jumped on the first pitch he saw and stroked a double deep to left with one out, and he quickly rounded third and came around to score thanks to a single to right from Anthony Quigley.

Quigley stole third to keep the pressure on, but the Hawks responded by inducing an infield ground out that ended that threat and preserved the lead. Taravella managed only one more base runner the rest of the way, a walk to Jake Miller in the sixth.

Current Spruce Creek manager and Broward County’s own Matt Cleveland, with Taravella Manager Joe Giummule.

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