Deacon “Sportlight”: Adam Cecere


Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics

Adam Cecere says his favorite part of baseball is hitting.

Christina Denovio, Sports Editor

With the baseball season rapidly approaching, redshirt sophomore Adam Cecere is gearing up for what will be his first regular-season without serious COVID-19 restrictions. Cecere was rated by both Perfect Game and Prep Baseball Report as a top-20 prospect from his home state of Pennsylvania. Apart from being a top baseball recruit, Cecere was a three-sport star who also earned all-state honors in football and basketball.

Last season, the Adams Township native batted .192 with 11 RBIs and four home runs. Looking ahead to the 2022 season, Cecere is looking to help Wake Forest become a competitive team despite the loss of players to the MLB draft last year. 

Christina DeNovio: When did you start playing baseball?

Adam Cecere: I started playing just as a young boy, around three or four years old. My pops played, and my older sister played T-ball. 

CD: What position do you play, and how did you land in that position?

AC: For Wake Forest, I’ve played left field and right field. I had never played there before I got here — I used to play first base and third base. When I got to Wake Forest, they moved me to where they saw I could be the most beneficial to the team. And now — I wouldn’t say I’m stuck there — but that’s where I’m at, and that’s where I’ll probably be at for the 2022 season. 

CD: Do you enjoy playing in the outfield?

AC: I don’t know if I enjoy any part of playing in the field — I just like to hit. The team in general just does what they have to do to be able to hit because hitting is the fun part. So I wouldn’t say that I like it or dislike it. 

CD: Why did you choose Wake Forest?

AC: I kind of had an interesting journey. When I was in eighth grade, I got my first scholarship offer to play baseball, but I always thought that I was going to be a football player. During my freshman and sophomore years, I was getting a couple of baseball scholarships from some notable schools, but I thought football would be the way that I would go. I started getting some attention for football but from much smaller schools. Then, the baseball schools were tired of me waiting to make a decision. Some of them started pulling their scholarships away. Wake Forest was not one of those schools. And then at the end of my recruiting process, I figured out that baseball was the way I was going to go. I chose Wake Forest partially because they put a lot of guys into the pros. The academics were also a good part. I’ve made a lot of good friends since I’ve been here, so I’m happy with my decision.

CD: How was the transition from high school to college baseball?

AC: It’s really hard. The guys that can come in ready to play as a freshman are pretty impressive. And we’ve had some of those people since I’ve been here, but I came from a small town in Pennsylvania where I was the only Division I baseball player. 

My high school experience was pretty easy. I cherish those moments from high school because they’re awesome and fun to look back on. When I got to school it was a little bit of a rude awakening because I wasn’t as good as I thought, and I wasn’t as polished as I thought. I thought I was a pretty polished player and that I had the skill to play baseball. In reality, I kind of just had the body and the mind to play baseball. I wasn’t a true, elite player yet. 

I got here my freshman year, and I worked my way into the starting lineup about two weeks into the season, which gave me some confidence that I was a good player. Then COVID-19 canceled the season, and I got sent home in the midst of a time when I was feeling pretty good about myself. Then, my redshirt freshman year, all the seniors came back. I was finding my way on and off the bench — there was some depth in front of me. When I was getting to play in games, I wasn’t playing too well. I missed 21 days last season because I was in the hotel because of COVID-19. That was in the middle of the season, about five games in. I never really recovered from that, mentally or physically. And then we weren’t very good last year, and I wasn’t doing well. I kind of had to reevaluate, reassess and turn myself into a different player to adapt to the college game.

CD: Did having your freshman year shortened by COVID-19 change your perspective on the game at all? Did it give you a new appreciation for baseball?

AC: I always have had an appreciation for the game. That shortened season we had a lot to look forward to, but we had to go home. We were about to travel to all these cool places, play high-level baseball and we had a pretty good team that year. Then I had to go home and not play any baseball until the next August when I came back to school. I think it kind of was a setback in my development. 

CD: What are the most important things you’ve learned from your coaches and teammates?

AC: From the coaching standpoint, our coaches are role models along with being good coaches. They have a good value system. They’re pretty firm in what they believe — they don’t waver or make poor decisions. They’re just solid people who I think if I model myself a little bit from this guy and a little bit from that guy, I could turn out to be a pretty good human being. I think I’ve learned more from them about being a person than being a player, which is a good thing.

CD: How has the team been preparing ahead of the 2022 season?

AC: We’re kind of preparing the same way, as always. We prepare the best we can with repetition and work ethic. This year, we lost a lot of seniors and a lot of good players to the draft. They were proven players who can play at a high level on an everyday basis. Now, it’s a less experienced team. We kind of had to go at it in a little different way, where it’s like more of the gritty, underdog mentality.

CD: What do you think will make Wake Forest a strong competitor this year?

AC: We’ll be strong competitors if the guys who are expected to play well do play well. We have a couple of players who are really good and that we’re definitely gonna count on for a lot for production. Obviously, we’re not putting pressure on them, but when they play well, we tend to play well and win games. What would also make us play pretty well is that we play hard. 

If we play the game the right way, we always say that it rewards us in the end. We know we’re not going to go undefeated, but if we win two-thirds of our games by playing hard and doing things the right way and getting production out of the guys who are supposed to give us some solid production, we could be in pretty good shape. It’s a tough league, and people come to play every day, and they’re good. So, it’s a game-by-game situation.

CD: Is there any person you like to keep in mind when you’re playing?

AC: Fortunately, I’m lucky enough that everybody close to me is still capable of coming to watch me play. I don’t want to say that I do it for anybody — II play the game because I love it. There’s a sense of joy that I get when people back home text me and tell me good game. When you notice people that care it gives you a good sense of fulfillment. I would say that both of my parents are pretty awesome competitors and they were former athletes.

CD: What’s your major? What are your goals for your time after Wake Forest?

AC: I don’t know exactly what my plans are because I think that there are a lot of things that I would like to do with the time that I have left after Wake Forest. I think Wake Forest’s set me up with a pretty good background and platform to do anything that I would like. I would love to play in the majors. I understand that I’ll have to have a good year and play well through the minors to get there. I hope everybody on our team plays in the majors, that would be awesome. If not, I would like to coach because I think if you’re a college coach, you can give people who dream about playing professionally that opportunity, which is pretty cool. Anything that will keep me around the game, so I don’t feel like I’m not a part of it anymore.