The 2017 Pennsbury Falcon baseball team epitomizes The Pennsbury High School student body. The team is not flashy, they are full of heart, and are a gritty group of competitors. Throughout their remarkable district and state tournament runs, the local area is rallying behind this underdog team in ways never before seen.
A team that was originally predicted to go only as far as pitcher Billy Bethel would take them, (billy-bethel-needs-big-season-for-pennsbury-baseball-to-succeed) has far exceeded expectations, and has thrived as a unit of cohesive winners.
The Falcons success, despite not having a central star, is one of the many reasons Bucks County is having such a love affair with this team. Second basemen Ryan McCarty believes the local support is crucial to their historic season. McCarty explains, “The community knows we do not have a big star, that one standout D1 commit… but they believe in our heart…. No matter what happens every game we know our community is supporting us…. The support and love from our community has allowed us to just go out and have fun.”
Head Coach Joe Pesci says the local attention has been so prominent that he and his players are feeling like, “local celebrities.” Pesci rationalizes, “You go to the super markets or anywhere in public… People are coming up to the players and congratulating us everywhere we go…. I think they see our kids do things the right way and that we run the right type of program… It’s really special to have this amount of support.”
One of the more notable members of Bucks County following this team is Virginia Napolitano, the widow of Pennsbury coaching great Victor Napolitano. Virginia has been a Bucks County resident for 62 years. Her husband is quite arguably the most legendary athletic figure in Pennsbury history. Virginia captures all of Bucks Counties feelings by remarking, “The great thing about this team is they have no pure stars… It’s a team effort at all times.”
Virginia also recognizes how delighted her husband would have been by coach Pesci. “Ginny” (as friends and family call her) explains, “Vic would be “tickled pink” at the job Joe is doing with these young men this season… Joe has a tremendous impact on the kids… He has them playing like champions.”
Coach Pesci uses the legendary success of coach Napolitano as a foundation for leading his team to their first ever-potential state title. Pesci observes, “All along I’ve wanted to bring it back to the way the program was under coach Napolitano…when it was extremely successful.”
Through a combination of community support, and winning, Pesci believes the program is now reminiscent to the Napolitano days. Pesci notes, “The kids now finally understand what Bucks County was like under Vic Napolitano, and they understand that Pennsbury baseball is back to those days.”
Pennsbury won 13 league titles, and three district titles in Napolitano’s tenure. Coach Pesci and the Falcons have already won the first district title for Pennsbury in the last 24 years. Now Pesci also has the opportunity to do something even the renowned Napolitano never accomplished – win a state title. Pesci declares, “I hope to do a fraction of what Coach Napolitano did… I am just proud this season has proved Bucks County is an area where great baseball comes from.” Great baseball hasn’t been the only matter highlighted by the Falcons monumental season. The incredible support from Bucks County has been on full display as well.
You can continue to support and listen to the Falcons go for their first state title in school history this Friday at 3:30 against Dallastown on the online stream at www.wbcb1490.com and on the AM dial.