A Pandemic Filled School Year Through The Eyes of Sophomore Dominic Fornataro


Hailey Gonzales, Feature Writer

Before the baseball postseason had begun for the Hurricanes, I was given the opportunity to interview sophomore varsity player Dominic Fornataro. On top of being a part of the starting lineup for the Hurricanes, Dominic was also recently inducted into the National Honor Society for his academics.

Q: Due to COVID, your Freshman baseball season was canceled shortly after starting. Would you say it put any mental strains on your performance or overall enjoyment while practicing and preparing for this season?

Dominic: Yes, COVID-19 hit our baseball team harder than most. We worked so hard for that year and it all went down the drain.


Q: Before this season started, did you make any personal goals for yourself and if so, what? Is there anything you changed about your goals compared to previous seasons?

Dominic: Yes, my goals are to win the WPIAL and to make all-section as a sophomore.


Q: Coming into this season, you have two fellow teammates who are committed to colleges. Did this cause the idea of college and committing to become a short term goal for you or do you plan to wait a bit longer before you start worrying about college? Why?

Dominic: Not really, I would like to take my time with this process and find the perfect college for me.


Q: You have been close with your teammates Dante Micaletti and Anthony Miller since kids. Does this benefit the three of you in any way? If so, how/why?

Dominic: Yes, team chemistry is everything when it comes to winning.


Q: At what age did you start playing baseball and do you remember the moment you decided you wanted to play? If so, explain. 

Dominic: I was 3 years old and no I do not exactly remember.  However, I do remember my parents telling me my first words were ball.


Q: Was there ever a moment during your many years of playing where you considered quitting or switching to a new sport? If so, why?

Dominic: No, baseball has always been my first love.


Q: What was your most memorable moment that came from playing baseball, whether that be during or outside of a game?

Dominic: They are all memorable, but I would have to say playing against Chinese-Tapei in the Pony League World Series.


Q: After a personal bad game or a team loss, what do you do to boost your confidence and motivation back up for the next practice or game?

Dominic: Usually, I will go home, take some swings off the tee and go hang out with my friends to get my mind off of it.


Q: Apart from playing varsity baseball, you are also a member of the National Honor Society. How do you go about balancing sports and academics?

Dominic: School always comes first. You can’t play baseball without good grades, and if I have to take a night off with my friends to do school work, I will.


Q: What does an average day in your student-athlete life look like? For example, how much time do you spend doing school, playing baseball, spending time with family and spending time with friends/teammates?

Dominic: First, I will go to school in the morning, then go straight to practice from there. Afterwards, I come home and take a shower, then eat and do school work. If I have enough time after that, I usually go and hang out with my friends for a little.


Q: After going through something like COVID for almost half of your high school years, what is one piece of advice you would give to future high school students that you learned specifically from this whole experience?

Dominic: You always have to keep high spirits. God has a plan so just believe in it.


Q: Being as you play both high school baseball and travel ball, I’m sure you have played baseball in many different cities and states. What was your favorite place you have ever played, and what made it so special?

Dominic: It’s close but I would have to say when our Varsity team went to Bradenton, Florida. The whole experience was great, from getting to share hotel rooms and have fun with kids I grew up with my whole life to playing tough competition at one of the nicest high school facilities in the country.


Q: While on the topic of travel ball, what would you say is the biggest difference between travel ball and high school baseball, besides obviously traveling more?

Dominic: The competition in travel ball is much more difficult so, in a way, it trained and developed me to be ready for high-school ball.


Q: Being as this is, in a way, your first year playing high school baseball, what was the biggest change from Junior High, besides new teammates?

Dominic: The age differential. Going from playing against kids the same age as me my whole life to now playing kids 2 or 3 years older that have already fully developed was a big change for me.


Q: To finish off the interview nice and simple, what’s your favorite way to celebrate a big win, whether that be with teammates, friends, or family?

Dominic: Get the team together and just do whatever comes to our minds. Whether that is going out to eat, hanging out or even just playing cards, we always find something to do together to celebrate.