South Jersey Sports Report: Steve Normane Returning to Holy Spirit Dugout
State championship-winning baseball coach Steve Normane, who currently is the athletic director at Holy Spirit High School, will be back in the dugout this spring, he announced to Glory Days. Normane, who began his Spartans career as an assistant in 2013 before taking over in 2014 for a four-year stint that included the 2015 Non-Public B state championship, makes his return as Jason Downey recently announced he was stepping down from the position. Downey was Normane’s assistant for three seasons before taking over as head coach for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Normane also coached the Holy Spirit softball program in 2018 and 2019 before stepping away from that post this fall and handing the reins over to former Spirit girls basketball coach Dennis Smith, who also was a softball assistant the past couple of seasons.
“That was the plan before Jason left. I was going to step away from softball this year before (the baseball) opportunity ever came up, and I had, stepping away from softball in the fall. Dennis was eager to take over, he had been my assistant the last two years, and he’s ready to go. That program is solid now. Those girls were great and I’m going to miss them for sure, but they are in good hands with Dennis and I can’t wait to see what they can accomplish this year, and beyond,” said Normane, who will remain the school’s athletic director. “I’m really just looking to continue what Jason and I started back in 2014 when I took over. It’s not about me, though, it’s a great group of kids. It really is a special group. Honestly, there are a lot of similarities with our 2015 state championship team that I’ve seen so far. We have strong seniors and hungry young guys ready to break out. We have guys who have committed to some big-time schools and some more on the way, so it’s a really great group, and to have the opportunity to get back to baseball with this group of kids is really exciting.”
Holy Spirit typically is one of the top teams in the Cape-Atlantic League every year, and 2020 should be no different. The Spartans went 15-8 in 2019 and won the CAL United Conference with a 9-1 record, and return some outstanding talent, including infielders such as C.J. Egrie and Brandon Castellini, catcher Justin Jimenez and some solid sophomores like outfielder Trevor Cohen and pitcher Van Patten. Castellini has committed to St. John’s University and Jimenez to Frostburg State in Maryland. The roster also features players like Steven Petrosh, Pat Oakes, Shane Solari and Jake Taylor, all of whom played significant roles last season.
(Editor’s note: We’ll have a full length feature on coach Normane returning to the Holy Spirit baseball program in the next digital edition of Glory Days Magazine)
Contact Dave O’Sullivan: firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @GDsullysays