July 17, 2019

Spotlight on Sports

Posted

Girls Little League Pioneer, Robert F. Amaral, Honored
The East Providence City Council at its June 18, 2019 meeting, voted unanimously to name the girls little league field at Pierce Stadium after a long time league volunteer, Robert F. Amaral. The field has been unnamed for decades after former Central Little League president Amaral lobbied the city for its construction. "Girls were not able to play Little League Baseball according to national rules until 1974," said at-large councilman Bob Rodericks. Rodericks sponsored the request to name the field for Amaral. "Bob Amaral had been a strong advocate for girls to have the opportunity to play in organized Little League. In 1974, and due in major part to the diligent resolve of Bob Amaral, girls in East Providence began to play organized Little League softball. Girls also have the option to play on a baseball team," Rodericks told his council colleagues.

"I want to thank the council for this great honor. It was a pleasure to have helped these girls play softball," Amaral told the audience after the award. "It wasn't fair that just the boys could play and not the girls. My daughter asked me at dinner one night why we don't play and I was always with the boys. I got the look from my wife and I said okay, you get enough girls and we'll play," said Amaral. The Amarals lived near Pierce Field at the time and upon driving home from work the next night, Robert Amaral found over 16 girls waiting at the field. "I got some equipment and we played ball," he said. Amaral's two daughters and wife Barbara were among other family members and former players in the city hall audience Tuesday night.

"I saw the laughter and smiles of those girls on the field and I had to bring this to the attention of EP Central LL." It took a while but Amaral lobbied some reluctant male little league officials to allow girls to play in the league. In a nearby city, a girl was planning a lawsuit to gain the same right. "After a five hour meeting with league officers they said girls could play but only if I ran the division and raised any necessary funds. In two weeks we raised enough sponsorships and we had a large group of girls playing ball," said Amaral. The girls weren't allowed to use the boys fields or league funding but they persevered with Amaral at the helm. Eventually the city built the girls their own field which is the same field now named in Amaral's honor many years later.

Amaral, now 84, was a Little League volunteer for thirty years. During this tenure he served as a team manager, director, League President and a New England District Administrator for girls team softball development. Amaral is 1954 graduate of East Providence High School and a 1961 Graduate of Rhode Island Electronics Technical School.

"Mr. Amaral is a great mentor, coach and friend to many of us," said a former player and one time league president Tim Costa who attended the council meeting. Current EPCLL president Chuck Michael was in attendance. "All of our little leaguers congratulate and thank you, Mr. Amaral," said Michael. Riverside Little League president Brian Rutkowski and Rumford president Eddie Wencis were also present along with many Central Little League board members.

"Our family is so proud of dad, and it was great to see old players there to honor him too," said Amaral's daughter Robin Amaral Lozito. "What a great celebration for our dad and all girls who enjoy the game," added Barbara Amaral Farrand.

The East Providence Central Little League is in its sixty-seventh year of existence. East Providence Central Little League officially started in 1953 with four sponsors and a handful of volunteers.

Rumford Defeats Riverside in Boys Major Division Title Game
Rumford major division little leaguers, Shannon Agency Phillies, won hard fought 11-6 victory over a strong Big Al’s squad from Riverside little league to take home the championship.

Rumford vs. Rumford in Seniors Final
In an all-Rumford championship game, the Elmhurst Pub Cardinals won the Senior League Championship against the Hot Club Red Sox in a title game at Glenlyon Field. "Congrats to both teams in a great all-Rumford LL final," said league president Eddie Wencis.

Riverside Minors Take City Title
Riverside little league's EP House of Pizza defeated Rumford LL Lonardo & Sons for the city minor division championship. In a tight game in which Rumford was leading 5-2 late in the game, Riverside rallied back to go ahead by one, 6-5. Riverside won the game after a game-ending double play in the last inning.

2019 EPHS Townies Boys Lacrosse Wins 2nd Sportsmanship Award
The East Providence High School Townies boys lacrosse team is the recipient of the coveted 2019 Ted Gilmartin Team Sportsmanship Award. "We were recognized by the RI Lacrosse Officials. This is a State award and is across all divisions and all teams. We are one of two teams to have ever won this award more than once. This is the second time that we have won (2015)," said Townie head coach Angelo Pizzi, a teacher at East Providence High School.

EPHS Girls Softball Wins 2019 Award
The East Providence High School softball team won the Division I Sportsmanship Award for 2019. "Congratulations to the Townie softball team and Coaches Rob Traverse and Jon Chapman. This is well deserved. Townie Pride Never Sleeps," said Townie athletic Director, Gregg Amore.

EP Athletic Director Recipient of 2019 Murgo Award
East Providence Director of Athletics, Gregg Amore has been honored by the Rhode Island Athletic Trainers’ Association with the group’s 2019 Frank Murgo Service Award. Representative Amore was presented with the award at the association’s Athletic Training Conference and State Meeting held at Providence College on June 4.

Amore was honored due to his educational efforts and dedicated service to the athletes and athletic trainers of Rhode Island.

“I am honored and humbled to have received this recognition from the RI Athletic Trainers’ Association. As someone who has been involved in competitive youth sports for years, I have witnessed how invaluable the work of athletic trainers is to the health and safety of our young athletes and I thank them for all that they do and for this wonderful honor,” said Athletic Director and State Representative Amore.

The Rhode Island Athletic Trainers’ Association is the professional membership association for certified athletic trainers who support the athletic training profession in the state of Rhode Island. They are a member organization of the National Athletic Trainer's Association, District One.

Popular Townie Baseball Camp Back Again
There is still time to register for the Townie Baseball Camp which will be held at Pierce Stadium the week of July 22 through July 26. The camp runs Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm. Players T-Ball through high school are welcome. "The mission of the camp is to teach skills, proper techniques, and the correct approach to the game, all in a fun-filled atmosphere," said camp director, EPHS Varsity Baseball coach Bobby Rodericks. Tee shirts will be provided to participants who register early. Registration on a first come first serve basis. Camp coaches include the EPHS Coaching Staff, RI High School & College Coaches, former EPHS Standouts, former professional players, RI All-Star high school players and ATC Baseball Staff.

The camp features Hitting, Fielding, Bunting, Base-running, Pitching and Competitions. There will be Pitching drills and warm-ups with Pro and College Pitchers. Game competition and fun contests with prizes and awards. "Have Fun While Skills Building!" Hot Lunch will be provided for all participants at close of camp each day, if wanted. Proceeds Benefit EPHS Baseball & EP Middle School Sports.

Camp Fee is $100. per camper for the week. $175. for a family of two and $240. for a family of three. For registration information email bobrodericks@gmail.com or bobbyrodericks@aol.com. Don't miss one of Rhode Island's best summer baseball camps.

New East Providence High School Head Girls Basketball Coach
EP Athletic Director Gregg Amore announced the selection of Tshombe Lambert as the new East Providence High School Head Girls basketball coach. "He is an EP grad who garnered all state honors in both football and basketball and went on to play football at Bryant University as a scholarship player," said Amore.
"He has been a successful girls AAU and middle school coach and we are excited to announce the hiring. Tshombe is a born leader and motivator who is passionate, competitive and dedicated to leading our girls basketball program for years to come. We are thrilled to welcome him back home to the Townie Athletic family where he was so successful as a student and athlete," added Amore.

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