By Gavin Menu
Baseball has been a guiding light for Pierson junior Aaron Schiavoni, who is hoping the sport will lead him to the highest levels of a military education.
Schiavoni returns to the baseball diamond in Sag Harbor this year after a remarkable stretch of time where he was named all-county as a sophomore helping to lead the Whalers to a Long Island Class C title last spring. Then, playing for the Long Island Titans travel team last summer, he was named the team’s most value player after posting a batting average of “around .400,” he said, modestly, before practice on Tuesday.
Schiavoni also attended baseball camp last summer for the second straight year at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, which is his dream school to attend after graduation in 2014.
“I’ve been traveling around to baseball camps, and I got to go to the Naval Academy the last two years,” Schiavoni said. “I got to meet the coaches and it gave me a great sense of what it would be like.”
Schiavoni does not come from a military family, but got the sense from attending camp at the Naval Academy for the first time two years ago that a life in the military would suit him just fine.
“I saw that the kind of person I am would fit in perfectly,” he said about entering the service. “I’ve become a stronger baseball player in the last year, but I’ve also gotten stronger mentally and with leadership. I like to lead by example.”
If playing baseball at Navy, which is a Division I program that competes in the competitive Patriot League, does not become a reality, Schiavoni said he would also be happy to attend Virginia Military Institute, which is also a Division I school, or Norwich University, a Division III school located in Vermont and the oldest private military college in the country.
“Navy is definitely my dream school, whereas Norwich or VMI are something I see as a real possibility,” Schiavoni said.
For now, the junior catcher is focused on the upcoming season at Pierson, where he hopes to lead the Whalers to more championships and hopefully the ultimate goal of a state title.
“I want to see us have fun and go as far as possible,” he said. “And individually, I want to improve as a catcher and as a hitter.”
Scary thought for opposing pitchers this season.