East Penn Press

Sunday, July 12, 2020
CONTRIBUTED PHOTOJude Negron will continue his baseball career at East Stroudsburg University. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOJude Negron will continue his baseball career at East Stroudsburg University.

Hornets’ Negron to play baseball at ESU

Thursday, June 18, 2020 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

When Jude Negron started looking at colleges, in addition to getting a good education, he had two items on his checklist. The first was to have a good baseball program and the second was that the school was close to home. The first option was so that he could extend his baseball career and be in a strong athletic environment like he was with the Emmaus baseball team.

As for proximity, Negron knew he wanted to be close so friends and family could see him play and he could make it home for some weekend fun with his family and friends.

The search led him to East Stroudsburg University where Negron will pursue a degree in finance.

“I’ve just always wanted to work on Wall Street,” said Negron. “I’ll be getting a good education and be able to play ball, so I think it’s a good choice for me.”

Negron was looking forward to his senior season for several reasons. Foremost in his mind was the fact that it would be one final season with friends who he has known for a long time and they would have one more shot at gaining a district championship that had eluded them.

Last season, the Hornets reached the District 11 finals but fell to Liberty in a 3-1 game at Coca-Cola Park. This season’s team seemed primed to be even better and he and his teammates were ready for the challenge.

“I wouldn’t say that we didn’t feel any pressure, but we had a championship mentality and we had the team to back it up,” said Negron. “We would spend a lot of time working hard in practice and then we would take time to goof around a little and have some fun. We had the right approach and we ended every practice talking about that championship.”

In mid-March, practice was suspended because of the COVID 19 outbreak. The team, like most people, thought it was just a setback to the schedule and that it would be back on the field. Instead, time dragged on and finally, coach Jeremy Haas sent out a text to the team to let them know the season was canceled.

“That really hurt,” said Negron. “We wanted to play one more time. Guys were really upset and some of us were even crying because we really wanted this shot. I felt especially bad for the seniors who aren’t going to play baseball in college because this was a sudden end for them.”

Negron and his friends spent the spring getting together with each other to throw, take grounders and work on baseball basics. They were mindful of social distancing and never had more than a handful of guys working out together, but at least they were able to play ball. That time on the field may pay off as rumors of an early-August tournament featuring 32 teams persist. If all goes well, Emmaus and other teams, will have at least an abbreviated opportunity to get back on the field.

“I spent the spring just throwing and working out with friends and then cutting grass. I cut a lot of grass,” said Negron. “It would be nice to have that one last chance to be back on the field.”