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NRLL Challenger Division Ready For 2018
North Reading Little League is proud to announce that its Challenger Division will return for the fifth straight year.
Challenger is most easily described as adaptive baseball for kids with special needs. It was established in 1989 as a separate division of Little League to enable boys and girls with physical and intellectual challenges, ages 4-18 (or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school), to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in the sport worldwide. Today, more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.
Since its inception in 2014, the NRLL Challenger Division has grown to include nearly four dozen players, serving families in North Reading and attracting youngsters from area communities that include Reading, Peabody, and Lynnfield. Coaches and volunteers – known as “buddies” – take a clinic-style approach that combines skills and drills, followed by modified games for the players. The emphasis is on fun and learning in a safe environment.
Sessions will run on Sundays from 9-10:30 a.m. starting April 29 at Benevento Fields, with a “road game” or two mixed in against some of the Challenger Divisions in surrounding communities. The program runs through mid-June, ending with a Jamboree hosted by Weston Little League, which is always a big hit with families and volunteers.
NRLL President Eddie Madden has seen the impact of the Challenger Division firsthand.
“It’s wonderful to see so many kids out on the field having fun and being able to enjoy the great game of baseball,” he said.
“Challenger is one of the best things we do as a league because of how it positively affects lives, and that goes beyond the players,” added Madden, who thanked Braga Landscaping for sponsoring team jerseys and equipment for this year’s program. “The volunteers, many of them Little League players or parents themselves, find it an incredibly rewarding experience.”
Those interested in learning more about the program may contact NRLL Challenger Division director Chris Hanson at email@example.com or by calling (781) 439-9031.
Tuesday, July 18
N.R. Players Shine at Northeast All-Star Game
Three North Reading players helped propel the South All-Stars to victory over their North counterparts in the Northeast Baseball Conference All-Star Game last Saturday (July 15) at Carey Park. Pictured are (left to right) Matt Debenedetto, Joe Wallace, and Marco Vittozzi, along with coach Marco Vittozzi.
Debenedetto lined a pair of doubles and threw out a runner from his catcher position; Wallace fired an inning of shutout relief, slammed a triple, and made several impressive plays in center field; and Vittozzi had four hits and four RBI while playing a flawless second base. Vittozzi was named the game’s MVP for his efforts, becoming the third North Reading player so honored, joining Ryan McAuliffe, who recently signed a contract with the New York Mets, and Paul Vittozzi.
The Northeast Baseball Conference is a nine-team league for high school-aged ballplayers. Through Monday’s games, North Reading held a 7-3-1 record and was in second place in the South Division. The league playoffs start on Friday at Carey Park (6 p.m.) with a quarterfinal contest vs. Dracut.
Monday, July 10
Jimmy Fund Jamboree a Big Hit at Benevento
There were two big winners last weekend at Benevento Park: youth baseball and the Jimmy Fund.
Sixteen teams from six area towns descended upon the North Reading Little League complex last Saturday and Sunday for the annual Jimmy Fund jamboree to kick off the league’s summer season. More than 400 ballplayers ages 7-12 from Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, Wilmington, and Woburn joined their North Reading counterparts for the action.
In addition to the exciting baseball that was played, ESPN was on hand to produce a short feature on the Jimmy Fund program that will air during the network’s Red Sox-Yankees broadcast this Sunday night from Fenway Park. ESPN filmed the games, the players, and 10-year-old Abby Roxo of Shrewsbury, this year’s Jimmy Fund League “designated hitter,” who sang the national anthem on Sunday with her 12-year-old sister Lily. Abby, diagnosed with brain cancer last summer, has been traveling throughout the area to help bring awareness to childhood cancer and to raise money for the Jimmy Fund.
Jimmy Fund Little League was co-founded in 1987 by the late George Berardi and Red Sox standouts Rico Petrocelli and Mike Andrews. As a result of the dedication of its co-founders and the hard work and winning spirit of coaches, parents, and most importantly, players, the program has raised nearly $5 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund.
The program provides more than 5,000 Little League baseball and softball players throughout New England the opportunity to continue playing after their regular season ends. Off the field, these young heroes take to their communities to raise vital funds for the Jimmy Fund, while learning the importance of philanthropy and volunteerism, and that they, too, can make a difference in the fight against cancer. In 2016, they raised more than $260,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through neighborhood canister collections, home run derbies, car washes, bake sales, and business sponsorships.
North Reading Little League has long supported this cause and, in addition to hosting the jamboree for the seventh straight year, makes a donation to the Jimmy Fund as part of its participation. This summer, NRLL is fielding five teams in three divisions: ages 8/9, 9/10, and 10-12. The nine-game season runs through early August with home games at the Benevento complex.
There are two Jimmy Fund divisions within Massachusetts’ District 13. The West Division is comprised of Assabet Valley (Maynard & Stow), Weston, Lincoln-Sudbury, Wayland, and Concord-Carlisle, while the East has North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, Wilmington, and Woburn.
To learn more about Jimmy Fund Baseball or to make a donation to the Jimmy Fund, go to jimmyfundlittleleague.org.
Sunday, June 18
Chaloux Game A Success!!!
|Stan Chaloux, Liam Rodger, Alex Carucci, and NRLL President Eddie Madden|
Monday, July 10
Support our Sponsors
Monday, May 29
12-Year-Old Appreciation Game Set For June 18
North Reading Little League is proud to announce that the 5th Annual NRLL/Tim Chaloux 12-Year-Old Appreciation Game will take place on Fathers Day, Sunday, June 18, at Benevento Memorial Fields.
NRLL introduced this event in 2013 as a way to thank our 12-year-old players as they complete their small diamond careers and prepare to move on to the big diamond. It is also a day to honor the memory of Tim Chaloux, a former NRLL player who was a senior at the Pingree School when he tragically died five years ago.
The day has quickly become one of the most highly anticipated on the NRLL calendar, and ALL of the league’s 12-year-olds are invited to play.
Activities start at 10:30 am with registration and the opportunity for players and their families to have a game of catch on the Benevento fields. That will be followed by team warm-ups, player introductions, dedications, and a six-inning game starting at 12 noon. At the game’s conclusion, NRLL and Stan Chaloux (Tim’s father) will present the Tim Chaloux Spirit Award to the player who best exhibits the hustle, passion, and effort that defined Tim on the field.
Hot dogs, potato chips, and ice cold tonic will be provided free of charge throughout the day to players, parents, and fans.
SIGN UP YOUR SON/DAUGHTER: All you need to do to sign up for this event is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your son/daughter’s name, Majors team, best email address(es) to receive updates, and the number of family members who will be attending. Please respond ASAP and no later than Friday, June 9, so that we can get the best headcount possible and produce a program that includes the names of all participants.
Thank you and we hope to see you on Father's Day for what’s become another great NRLL tradition!
Wednesday, April 2
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