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I got the mic: Jack Loefflad, Mainland Regional baseball

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Jack Loefflad is a senior at Mainland Regional High School who plays soccer and baseball. Last spring, he helped lead to the Mustangs’ baseball team to the state championship as an outfielder and pitcher, and this season he is the team’s starting catcher for the first time. Glory Days Magazine publisher Dave O’Sullivan caught up with Loefflad, who has helped Mainland get off to an 8-0 start, earlier this week. Sully: Tell me about this season and what you think of it so far. You’re in the position you’ve been wanting to play, catcher, right? Loefflad: Coming into this season we had really high expectations, coming off the championship last year. We were coming back with a really strong team, had a lot of guys returning. We’ve lived up to expectations so far. We haven’t really been playing as well as we would like to, but we are pulling out wins, which is a good sign. Sully: How much more confident and comfortable are you now as a senior? Loefflad: I’m definitely much more confident, and comfortable. I’m in my natural position, so that adds to me being more comfortable. Sully: How tough is it to be asked to pitch when you have been catching the whole game? Loefflad: I’ve had people tell me that it’s tough. It doesn’t feel great when I give up a hit like I did against Holy Spirit against one of my best friends (A.J. Russo’s game-tying double in the seventh inning of a 4-3 Mainland win on April 18). I don’t see a difference between that and coming in at the beginning of the game. I’m really hard on myself when I give up a hit like that, but I really don’t see a difference between (starting or relieving). Sully: What was that like last year, that final out of the state championship? It must have been hard to believe that you guys actually won it all after coming into the playoffs under .500. Last year, Jack Loefflad helped Mainland Regional win the state championship in baseball. This season, the senior catcher and relief pitcher has helped the Mustangs get off to an 8-0 start. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O'Sullivan) Last year, Jack Loefflad helped Mainland Regional win the state championship in baseball. This season, the senior catcher and relief pitcher has helped the Mustangs get off to an 8-0 start. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O’Sullivan) Loefflad: It was definitely a great feeling. We were the underdogs in five out of our six playoff games. To come out on top of it all exceeded all of our expectations. It was one of the best feelings in the world. Sully: How cool is it to get to wear that state championship ring? Loefflad: It’s awesome. The first couple of days you couldn’t get it off my finger. Now I just have it as a trophy on my shelf, a little momento. Sully: You also play soccer. What has your high school career been like playing two sports? It seems like at Mainland there are so many good student-athletes, it has to be neat to be a part of all that. Loefflad: We definitely have a great school, some great sports programs. Being a two-sport athlete, it’s awesome. I know a lot of guys who kind of get lost in the offseason and don’t really know what to do with themselves. Soccer helps me keep in shape. It’s a whole different sport, a whole different group of brothers. It’s a really good feeling to be a part of something like that, especially this year since we played so well and got a playoff win for the first time in a few years. It’s nice to have another brotherhood like that. Sully: It seems like your baseball team gets along really well, you have a bunch of guys who are always joking around with each other. It has to be a cool thing to be involved with something like that where everybody seems to get along so well. Loefflad: A lot of the guys on this team have been playing together for a long time. I think about seven of us played on a travel all-star team when we were 10 years old, so we’ve known each other for years. We’re all dedicated and have the heads to play the game. It’s definitely a great feeling to be out there with guys you are so close to. Sully: I know your mom gets into the games, she’s out there taking pictures. What does she say after the games if you guys lose? Does she get on your case at all? Loefflad: Not so much my mom, but my dad will a little bit since he was my coach when I was younger, all through Little League and Babe Ruth. He’ll get on my case a little bit. My mom is more like, ‘get ’em next time.’ Sully: That has to be cool, though, to have them so involved in your athletic career. Loefflad: Yeah, it’s awesome. I couldn’t ask for anything better. Sully: What’s that like for the guys who play a spring sport, having to deal with the prom and graduation and all that stuff? Loefflad: For me it’s fine. I have a girlfriend, so I have my prom all situated. We have some goofballs on the team, so that’s going to be interesting seeing them ask people to the prom and stuff like that. Sully: What are you looking forward to most this summer? I know it’s a little bittersweet graduating from high school, but then sort of the rest of your life starts after that. Loefflad: Honestly, I hate to say it, but the thing I’m looking forward to most this summer is not  having soccer preseason. The last four years that has absolutely ruled my summer. I don’t have any time off, getting up at 6:30 in the morning. So it’s definitely going to be a fun summer, as much as I love the sport. Sully: What kind of things do you and your buddies like doing in the summer? Loefflad: We spend a lot of time at the beach. We actually have our own street over in Longport. There’s a spot out in EHT that we like to go to that has a rope swing. Sully: Who is the coolest kid on the team? Loefflad: We have a lot of cool guys on the team. I’m not going to pick favorites. Sully: Who is the best Kern on the coaching staff? Or are you going to stay away from that question as well? Loefflad: I think I’d get in trouble if I answered that one. Sully: What are you doing for college? Loefflad: I’m actually going to be attending the University of Tampa. Sully: What has been the best part of your Mainland experience? A lot of kids seem to love that school and it’s such a big family atmosphere and you guys have gone through a lot over the past couple of years. Loefflad: We have gone through a lot. My favorite part about going to a school like Mainland is the camaraderie between all the students. It might sound really cheesy, but every organization, no matter what you do — the drama club, mock trial, sports, anything like that — you don’t even have to be a part of anything and you still feel like you are part of the family. Contact Dave O’Sullivan: sully@acglorydays.com; on Twitter @GDsullysays [adsense]

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