Johnny Bova doubly blessed at Western New England

Johnny Bova is surrounded by mom Alice, dad John and sister Gabby when he signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Western New England University.

Johnny Bova is surrounded by mom Alice, dad John and sister Gabby when he signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Western New England University.

Trumbull Athletics / Contributed photo

Trumbull High’s Johnny Bova was looking to find a school that offered him something he was good at doing and something he loved to do.

Western New England University checked both boxes.

“Coach (Dan) Gomez talked to me at a showcase last summer,” Bova said. “He thought I would be a good fit. I went to campus to visit. It has everything I wanted. It had the right major (accounting) and a great business school.”

Baseball has been a family business for Bova, his dad John and mom Alice.

“My dad coached me all the way through youth,” he said. “My mom and sister (Gabby) have always been there for me. My parents have without a doubt had the most influence on my life.”

Bova will play the infield at Western (Springfield, Mass) in the Division III Commonwealth Coast Conference. Gomez is a three-time CCC coach of the year. The Golden Bears went 6-10-1 this past season. Playing 17 games or less allows players at the college to return for an extra season.

Bova committed last August.

“It backed it up a couple months,” Bova said of his lost junior season to COVID. “Overall, the impact wasn’t that bad for me. After I signed, I could relax. Coach Gomez is easy to connect with, so I didn’t have to stress. I could concentrate on school and baseball.

Bova batted .400 for coach Phil Pacelli at Trumbull.

“Coach Gomez said the goal is to keep me in the middle infield and possibly third base,” Bova said. “What I focused on that COVID year was to get my strength up. I worked on bettering my arm strength. I wanted to get more from my lower half to generate more power.

Bova has played the last three years for the Connecticut Grind.

Michael Moras has advanced my play to a better level,” Bova said of the former Amity, University of New Haven standout drafted by the New York Mets. “I also work with Connor David, the Grind’s strength coordinator. He played at UConn and Cheshire. I take lessons with Garrett Walker (Foran coach, UConn, ECSC player) on my swing. He has showed me how to simplify things.”

Bova said having a core group of friends has made baseball all the better.

“My teammates are great. I’ve played with a lot of those guys through Little League,” he said. “We were separated a few years. But we got to reunite this year. It was a lot of fun. Plus, we played with good younger players.”

Bova wanted to send one shout out

“I want to especially thank Dylan Moran, Bryan Kraus and Jack Wallace. Each has helped me get to where I am today. All four of us played Trumbull travel, Trumbull All-Stars. We played together since we were 7. We help each other through the ups and downs. At end of day that is what baseball is, it’s a game of failure. You can’t let in consume you. You take what happens, use it, and move on.”

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354