Sports Person of the Week
Luciani Has the Right Attitude on the Ballfield
Ryan Luciani is a valuable member of the Clinton Huskies 16-U AAU baseball team and is looking forward to playing for Morgan at the high school level next spring. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Luciani )
Ryan Luciani is the epitome of an optimist. It doesn’t matter if he makes a mistake in the field or strikes out at the plate—Ryan is going to come back the next time and try his best to be better.
This type of attitude is one of the main reasons why Ryan, a Clinton resident, has been so successful playing baseball throughout his young career. A rising sophomore at Morgan, Ryan wasn’t able to experience the high school game as a freshman due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he’s excited to try out for the baseball team next spring.
“My favorite aspect of baseball is that it’s not all physical,” Ryan says. “It’s a mental game, and there’s so many different ways to make an impact, even when you’re struggling.”
This summer, Ryan has been playing in the AAU ranks for Head Coach Willie Fritz and the Clinton Huskies 16-U baseball team. Coach Fritz says that the outfielder has made some nice strides on the diamond during the course of the campaign.
“Ryan’s a great kid. He works hard and he doesn’t get discouraged,” says Fritz. “A good example of that was when he got picked off of first base during one of our most recent games. I wasn’t happy with what he did in that situation, but he takes everything in stride, and that’s what makes him such a valuable player.”
Ryan has gained plenty of baseball knowledge as a result of working with Fritz and feels thankful for all the support that he’s received from Clinton’s skipper. Ryan’s favorite moment of the season so far came when the Huskies rallied from a seven-run deficit to get an 8-7 win against the Travel Knights Blue team out of Southington.
“My relationship with Coach Fritz is great,” Ryan says. “Every day, he teaches me something new, and he’s very fun to be around and knows a lot about baseball. I like when we go to his house for batting practice and hot dogs.”
Ryan is at Fritz’s house every Wednesday to get some reps that benefit his approach at the plate. In addition to Fritz, Ryan has also learned a great deal about the game from the Huskies’ assistant coaches, CJ Caprio and Jake Mastroianni.
“To improve my game, I’ve been working with my coaches,” says Ryan. “Coach CJ and coach Jake are very encouraging and work with me to improve on my swing and spend a lot of time helping me.”
Coach Fritz sees Ryan making an impact on Morgan’s JV baseball team next year. Fritz also feels confident that Ryan is on his way to competing for the varsity team by the time he’s an upperclassmen.
“He’s still very young, but Ryan’s got a lot of talent for a kid his age,” Fritz says. “With the way he works, it’s someone you want on your roster. I think with the older he gets and the more mature he gets, he’s going to only get better.”
Although he didn’t get to play for Morgan this year, Ryan remains hopeful that he will get his opportunity to take the field in his sophomore campaign next spring.
“It was tough to not be able to play my first year at Morgan because of COVID. We all wanted to play, but knew it was going to be tough due to the virus,” says Ran. “My hope is that some sort of a vaccine comes out, so we don’t have to worry for the spring season.”
Aside from baseball, Ryan is also a member of the Morgan boys’ basketball program. This winter, he announced the starting lineups for the varsity team prior to its home games. Ryan enjoyed learning more about basketball from his older teammates, while forming great relationships with them as a member of another Huskies’ club.
“I love playing for the Huskies with all the older kids on the team. They always help me, and we cheer each other on no matter what,” Ryan says. “It’s a great group of guys to be around, and we have a lot of fun.”