By Alex Lippa
Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of profiles of local athletes.
Whittier Regional High junior Nate Frongillo knows what it's like to win.
The second baseman was a key member of the Whittier baseball team just two years ago when the Wildcats were crowned Division 3 North champions. During the winter, he was the first reserve off the bench on the basketball team, which had one of the best regular seasons in school history, going 20-1.
The second baseman went 32 for 75 (.427) with nine runs batted in and 19 runs scored a season ago. The season ended in disappointment for the Wildcats, as they bowed out in the Division 3 North quarterfinals against St. Mary's. Firmly planted in the second spot in the lineup, Frongillo will be counted on this year to get on base in front of big hitters Brian Vezina and Andrew Wells.
The Gazette sat down with Frongillo to talk about life on and off the diamond.
What are your goals for this season?
Winning the league for sure. We only had two kids graduate last year, so we should be strong. Winning the state championship game is a big one, as well. We definitely know we have the talent this year, as well as the pitching. We are going to just have to see how far we can go.
Does the experience of winning give you more confidence in baseball?
Definitely. Me and my good friend (Andrew Wells) definitely always draw from that experience. We also have center fielder Shane Surrette and first baseman Paul Mahoney. With that experience, we should be able to go on and do something in the tournament this year. Normally we wouldn't face those teams in the regular season, but this year we are facing a tough schedule to get ready for that tournament.
What's been the greatest moment of your baseball career been so far?
Winning the (Division 3) North as a freshman in 2010.
What is your favorite thing about baseball?
Having fun with the friends on my team.
Which sport do you enjoy more, baseball or basketball?
That's a tough question, but I'd have to go with baseball in the end. There's just something with the game. I grew up playing it since I was 6 years old. I watched my brother (playing) and that just got me into it.
How did you settle on second base as your position?
I came in my freshman year and I knew I wasn't going to play shortstop because we had Billy Lafferty who was a talented kid. I didn't even know I was going to play second base. I thought I was only going to play somewhere in the outfield if I started on varsity. (Coach Joe Boland) thought that I could play second, so I settled in there and it's kind of my home now.
Do you play any other positions?
Sometimes if Shane Surrette pitches, I will play center field.
Why did you choose to go to Whittier?
I knew they had great sports teams and their academics were on the rise. They were just putting in honors classes when I started to look at the school. There were a lot of other schools I was looking at too, but there was something about Whittier that was just different from all the other schools.
Have you thought about college plans yet?
I'm getting into that now actually with my parents. I'm looking to see which schools have my major before baseball, but I want to be able to play baseball too. I'm looking towards exercise science as a major and hoping to be a physical therapist or an athletic trainer.
Let's do some favorites. What's your favorite food?
Kelly's Roast Beef
Favorite sports team?
Boston Red Sox
Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler
Not Dustin Pedroia?
I like Ian Kinsler better. A lot of people say, 'Why not Pedroia?' I just like Kinsler better.
'Loud" by Mac Miller
Favorite subject in school?
History. I like learning about the world.
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