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Relentless effort yields all-league honors for Bogota’s Jake Marino

When Jake Marino was younger he played tee-ball. By the time he reached Bogota High School his passion was basketball, but that soon turned back to baseball. Marino’s favorite team is the New York Yankees, favorite baseball player Mike Trout and baseball movie The Sandlot.

However, it was the training Marino did in the off-season working with trainer Bob Frassa the past five to six years on getting his swing down at the plate and going to the gym. Despite batting just .061 in 2017, Marino quickly turned those numbers around last season hitting .345 with one home run while collecting 20 hits, tallying 10 RBI, scoring 18 runs and swiping eight bases and walking eight times.

Marino credits the coaching staff, head coach Dan Limone and assistant head coach Jared Deutsch. “Coach Limone is a great coach and leader. Coach Deutsch is a great pitching coach and helps me calm down when I have a bad situation on the mound, get my energy and confidence back up.”

Coach Deutsch on Marino, “Jake is a very competitive kid which is what you want in a kid. He always wanted to be the best and win at whatever he was doing. I hope he continues that hard competitive drive and keeps being successful in life and whatever he chooses.”

In his final year on the baseball team, Marino increased his batting average to .360 earning him first-team all league. Not only playing the centerfield position Marino was a starting pitcher for the first having been a reliever last season. Marino also said the competition in Bergen County is very beneficial as the Buccaneers reached the state playoffs.

“Making first-team all-league means a lot to me, I worked really hard and love the grind of the game,” said Marino. “Playing centerfield is a lot of work, you get a view of the field as a captain out there and directing other outfielders on whether to shift back or move over depending on the person hitting and if it’s a short fly ball is hit to call off the infielders and say you got it.”

“We played tough opponents against Midland Park, Cresskill and Emerson. A lot of good competition in Bergen County as there are scouts always there and how you get better at the game. I love putting a show on for people and once I step on that field it’s game time and ready to go. Going into my senior year the coaches said the seniors had to be the leaders on how to act, get better on each play, at bat and help each other out. I knew I had to go all out if it’s my last at bat, throw and catch.”

Helping Marino through this process has been his family, his father attending every game. Inspired by his sister who attended Bergen Tech for three years before transferring to Bogota High School and tallying 1,000th career point.

Making the decision to attend Bergen Community College in the fall, Marino is going to continue his baseball career and hopes to play with fellow teammate Matthew Fitzgerald. Marino had one final message for younger kids. “Keep grinding no matter what, if you strike out, miss a ground ball, make a bad throw or don’t have a good game pitching there is always another game. Keep going until your career is over with.”

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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