The baseball season at East Rockaway High School has been saved by the team of Supervisor Kate Murray and Senior Councilman Anthony Santino who will open two fields at Oceanside Park a month ahead of schedule to allow the ‚ÄúRocks‚ÄĚ to have enough pre-season practice to compete in the upcoming league schedule. ‚ÄúOur township has rallied to the cause of East Rockaway‚Äôs varsity and junior varsity baseball teams who were in danger of being shut out from the 2013 season after losing their school fields to the wrath of Hurricane Sandy,‚ÄĚ stated Supervisor Kate Murray.
‚ÄúAmong the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy were the neighboring communities of East Rockaway and Oceanside,‚ÄĚ added Councilman Santino. ‚ÄúThe buildings and grounds at East Rockaway High School were devastated by the storm, and the ballfields were flooded beyond repair. So, the town has stepped to the plate by pinch-hitting for the school fields with the baseball fields at nearby Oceanside Park.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúTraditionally, town ballfields open the first week of April, but we‚Äôve gone to bat for the East Rockaway teams so they can schedule enough preseason practice to participate in the regular season schedule,‚ÄĚ commented Supervisor Murray.
East Rockaway High School will use two fields at Oceanside Park from March 4th through April 5th. Both the varsity and junior varsity teams will practice on weekdays after school from 4 to 7 p.m. The teams will also have three Saturday morning practice sessions in March.
The use of Oceanside Park is a home run for our school and our kids,‚ÄĚ added East Rockaway Athletic Director Dom Vulpis. ‚ÄúThe season was really in jeopardy before the town ‚Äėpitched‚Äô in. Now we‚Äôre back in the game, and the players can‚Äôt wait to take the field.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúAs the rebuilding continues in many town communities, the revitalization of spirit becomes as important as the revitalization of property,‚ÄĚ concluded Supervisor Kate Murray. ‚ÄúWe want to team-up with residents, businesses and schools whenever we can to provide some measure of relief and some means of happiness.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúWe need to return a sense of normalcy to these storm ravaged communities,‚ÄĚ stated Senior Councilman Santino. ‚ÄúObviously the process is slow and the steps are gradual, but to enable these East Rockaway athletes to take the field when the umpire cries ‚ÄúPlay Ball‚ÄĚ is a big win for the home team.‚ÄĚ