Raiders baseball gets first ever win over Glades Day

The Glades Central Raiders varsity baseball team made school history on Mar. 5 when they were able to finally top their rival the Glades Day Gators, 9-6.
The victory marks the first time the Raiders have beaten the Gators since the inception of the baseball program at Glades Central.

GCHS senior David Gonzalez and sophomore Franky Reyes led the Raiders in hits with two each, while Reyes and junior Venanza Vereen each notched two RBIs against the Gators.

GCHS sophomore Daniel Camejo started the game on the pitcher’s mound for the Raiders and was able to give the Raiders five innings of solid work. Camejo allowed five runs in that timespan although three of those runs were unearned.

The win can be seen as a bellwether for a historically beleaguered Raiders baseball program that has shown signs of turning things around thanks in part to the efforts of head coach Rene Leon.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
This is the Glades Central varsity baseball team shortly after their win over Glades Day on March 5.

“It was difficult at first to bring back what I learned in college to Belle Glade because we had to start from the bottom,” said Leon. “We don’t play baseball year-round here so my first few years here was spent just teaching the fundamentals of the game of baseball. Most of the guys I have now are juniors and seniors and they’ve come long way, and have great mechanics. We have great athletes, we just had to learn to play the game the right way.”

The Gators were able to jump out to an early three-run lead against the Raiders in the first inning, but the Glades Central players didn’t lose focus and were able to take control of the game thanks to a five-run explosion in the second inning. The Gators wouldn’t regain the lead for the rest of the game.

“That’s been a rivalry game for us as long as we’ve had a baseball program in Glades Central,” explained Leon. “That has been the team to beat. We came close a few years but just hadn’t been able to beat them. For the kids to go out there and get that win was a big accomplishment for the program.”

Glades Region Superintendent Angela Avery-Moore gave the Raiders team a shout-out for the accomplishment on her social media.

“Congratulations to the GCHS Raiders baseball team on their win against Glades Day,” Mrs. Avery-Moore posted on her official twitter. “They are making school history and we couldn’t be more proud.”

Glades Central will enjoy the win over Glades Day for now, but another big district foe will be making the trip to Belle Glade on March 15 — Lincoln Park Academy.

Lincoln Park is coming off a 18-10 season last year, including an appearance in the regional semifinal. In last year’s match-up Lincoln Park steamrolled the Raiders in route to a 17-0 victory.

“They are a powerhouse,” said Leon of Lincoln Park. “Really good baseball program and a really great coach.”

Glades Central will take on district foe Lincoln Park Academy on March 15 at 6 p.m. at Glades Central High School.

Richard Marion is a staff writer and photographer at Lake Okeechobee News and can be reached at rmarion@newszap.com.

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