Athletes of the Issue: Jake Rizzuti: Outstanding Outfielder
Jake Rizzuti ’18 first set foot on a baseball diamond in kindergarten.
Almost immediately, he knew it was his sport. Like many of his family members, he was drawn to the game. Twelve years later, that passion for baseball is still very much a part of Rizzuti: “Baseball has always been my favorite sport,” said Rizzuti, “ever since I first stepped on a field.”
After three years on the Varsity roster, Rizzuti was voted Boys’ Varsity Baseball captain for the 2018 season by his teammates. “Rizz leads by example,” said Jack Dove ’19, “he brings unparalleled energy and passion to the game and works incredibly hard in practice. He keeps the team accountable and pushes us everyday to get better and succeed.” Dylan Matchett ’21 added, “[Rizzuti] is the hardest worker and is always looking for extra reps.” Rizzuti’s leadership propelled the Hilltoppers to a winning record and to the finals of the Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA) tournament.
In addition to his off-field impact, Rizzuti has a lot of responsibility on the diamond. “[Rizzuti] plays a versatile role on our team playing almost every defensive position on the field” said Head Coach Rocco DeMaio. Rizzuti’s comfort anywhere on the field has allowed DeMaio to shuffle players and keep others in their ideal positions.
On the offensive side, Rizzuti bats in the heart of the order and is among the most consistent contributors. The resilience, versatility, and work ethic Rizzuti has gained through years of baseball have not gone unnoticed by his coaches. DeMaio said of Rizzuti: “His flexibility and hustling style of play make him a valuable team member. Playing multiple sports has helped Jake compete and balance his time with school and athletics.” Rizzuti has demonstrated the results of his hard work on the field all season.
Hopkins lost in the regular season to King, Rye Country Day, and Brunswick, but Rizzuti is eager to get another shot at them in the FAA playoffs. “We definitely have a chance in the FAA this year,” Rizzuti stated. “If we can get more consistency on offense we’ll be a tough out. We’re a really energetic team. We feed off of each other."
Rizzuti is confident in the future of Hopkins baseball: “We only have four seniors and most of the other teams in the FAA are graduating a lot of players,” he said. Rizzuti hopes to continue his baseball career by walking on to the team at Fordham University.