This past Sunday, the RIBBE traveled to the new location of 365 Sports Academy at 1 New Industrial Way, Warren, RI. I had read a post earlier this month on Facebook that 365 Sports’ RI Prospects Club would be hosting baseball clinics for the RID2 Challenger Division. I was eager to meet Chuck Cooper of RID2 Challenger and Cody Ortega of 365 Sports, having seen their incredible work with RI Baseball online.
Chuck met me as I entered the 365 Sports Facility with a big handshake. He is the proud father and coach of several baseball players in his family, one of which participates in the Challenger Division in his Rhode Island District 2 Little League. Chuck and I exchanged baseball stories, he talked to me about the success his Challenger program had achieved getting players from all over the district enjoying baseball, and how proud he was of each and every player he has coached. RI District 2 Challenger Division starts play around April 28th and they play their home games at Middletown Little League’s Aquidneck Fields.
As I was speaking with Chuck, players from the RI Prospects Club were working with players from the Challenger Division. The RI Prospects Club players were from the 14U club, consisting of baseball players who were mostly in the 8th and 9th grades. The team consists of players from both MA and RI, with RI players coming from Smithfield, East Greenwich, Warren, Newport, Providence, just to name a few. Chuck then waved RI Prospects Club Director of Operations, Cody Ortega, to join us. Cody was busy helping his players get instructional stations going and took a few moments of his time to meet with me.
Cody was over the top enthusiastic that his team was working, again, with the Challenger Division. “We had 100% participation from our kids, they all wanted to be here to help out. That says a lot about the character of my players and their dedication to promoting baseball.” Cody went on to mention that the Prospects Club playing would be working on skill development but really wanted to focus on fun and engagement. “I told my players, if a kid wants to pitch, get ’em pitching. If they want to hit, let’s hit some baseballs. Today is all about making parents smile, the kids having a good day.” It was a team effort that was executed with passion, heart, and enthusiasm. The result – tons of smiles, parents cheering, the Prospect players high fiving each other – everyone wins!
As I was finishing up with photos, Chuck mentioned The RI District 2 Annual Challenger Jamboree. This year’s event will take place on Sunday, June 9th in Portsmouth, RI. The event is 100% donations, Chuck mentioned that the sponsors of this event have really stepped up over the years to make sure that the families don’t pay a dime for anything. There are dunk tanks, face painting, equine therapy, a bounce house, and so much more. It is one of the biggest events circled on everyone’s calendar every year and this year should be just as incredible. For more information on this year’s event, go to RID2 Annual Challenger Jamboree.
Thank you to all the players from RI Prospects 14U Club for being incredible ambassadors of baseball and volunteering your time to help others. Great job by Cody Ortega for instilling these qualities in your players at an early age. Great to meet you Cody and of course Chuck Cooper of Rhode Island District 2 Challenger Division. It was an amazing Rhode Island Baseball Experience at 365 Sports Academy!
Visit 365 Sports at their new location – 1 Industrial Way, Warren, RI – or online at www.365sportsri.com.
Stay on top of all things RID2 Challenger Division by liking their page on Facebook – RI D2 Challenger
Stay on top of all things RI Prospects Club as they begin their 2019 AAU seasons – Facebook page is RI Prospects Club