NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Expectations are high for the upcoming baseball season

During the 2021 fall season NECC Baseball team is playing exhibition games. They practice a lot in the field and work out in the gym. They are doing everything that they can to be prepared for the spring. The NECC Knights is a Division Three team. They won the region championship eight times in school history, including seven straight times from 2012-2018. They also won their first ever district championship in 2018.

Coach Jeffrey "Jeff" MejiaPhoto courtesy of

Coach Jeffrey “Jeff” Mejia

Jeffrey “Jeff”  Mejia is the NECC Baseball head coach and since he came in 2013, they were New England Region Champion six times, District champions five times, including five NJCAA World Series appearance. They were NJCAA World Series national runner up in 2016. In 2015 it was Mejia’s best season going 28-4. For this season coming up coach Mejia said he has “very high expectations.”

“We got a very talented team off to a great start this fall, arguably the most talented team we’ve had in a number of years. We (have) very high expectations, the goal is to win a national championship,” he said.

Coach Mejia and his staff are ready to bring back the trophy back to NECC for the first time since 2018.

Photo of Jared CoppolaPhoto courtesy of

Jared Coppola

Jared Coppola of Lynn is an infielder, a third baseman for the NECC Knights. Last season in 33 games he batted .361 with 17 RBI and a home run. This season they will play a full schedule and they’re doing everything they can as a team to prepare for the season.

“ I definitely think we have a few kids in this team that can be potential draft picks as long as we do the right things in school in the weight room and we come to practice with the mentality to get better every single day,” he said.

Coppola and his teammates looking at the future a dream to become reality that they been dreaming for a long time that is to get drafted to play pro.

Photo of Clay CampbellPhoto courtesy of

Clay Campbell

Clay Campbell of Goffstown, N.H., is an infielder, a shortstop for the NECC Knights. Last season in 34 games he batted .371 with one home run and 30 RBI. He also can run as he has speed in the bases in 22 opportunities to steal, he got caught three times with 19 stolen bases.

He mentioned that time management is a big key to being a student athlete.

“Especially with online classes I specifically took online classes so it will be easier to be able to do my other responsibilities as well as baseball so it’s really just sticking to your time schedule and getting the work done when you can,” he said.

Todd TringalePhoto courtesy of

Todd Tringale

Todd Tringale of Saugus is a starting right-handed pitcher for the NECC Knights. Last season in 12 games he made 10 appearances with a four and one record on 50 innings pitch he strikeout 78 with giving up one home run and a 2.16 ERA.

We all know what happened last year with coronavirus and it was difficult for teams  to adjust.

“Practice last year in the fall season it was tough …. The game schedule was really hectic it was little off than the other years, I mean we were piling as many games as we possibly could and you know obviously I mean with the mask mandate it was different back then and going through all of that it was though,” he said.

Look out for the NECC Knight’s baseball team. This team is very talented, very resilient and they don’t give up.

After conducting an interview with them I have no doubt in my mind that they are going far this season into the post season and possibly winning a championship.

We all know that Coach Mejia has been coaching the baseball team since 2013 and the fact that he mentions that this team is the most talented team in a number of years really stands out.

It means a lot not just for the school but for the community as well. It shows how they are a great team and how they work together as a whole and I don’t have any doubt in my mind that they could possibly end up winning a championship. That’s how good they are going to be. This team is going to be exciting to watch.