By Cary Shuman
A new middle school girls’ softball team will begin play on Thursday, April 9, when it travels to Twi-Field in Danvers to play the Danvers freshman team.
The team, to be coached by former Revere Senior Babe Ruth and Savio Prep baseball coach Peter DiCarlo, will include sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students from the Susan B. Anthony School and Rumney Marsh Academy.
DiCarlo is well known in Revere baseball circles. He coached the Revere Senior Babe Ruth team for 17 years and was the head coach for one season at Pope John XXIII High School and for 16 seasons at Savio Prep.
DiCarlo launched the idea for a middle school softball team three weeks ago, then took his idea to Mark Mattera, middle school sports coordinator, who endorsed the plan. DiCarlo and Mattera then met with Revere High Athletic Director Keith Correia, who also enthusiastically supported the proposal.
The three men then brought the middle school softball plan to a meeting with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Dakin. DiCarlo told Dakin there were several girls, including his daughter, Logan DiCarlo, who had expressed interest in participating in a middle school softball program.
“Dr. Dakin wholeheartedly endorsed the idea for a team, and we appreciated his support greatly,” said Peter DiCarlo. “I told Dr. Dakin that I would coach the team and raise the necessary funds for the program to pay for the equipment, uniforms, umpires, and transportation to away games.”
The team, which will be called the Revere Middle School Patriots, will play a 14-game schedule, seven home and seven away. Three of the home games will be played at Hill Park on Park Avenue, while four will be played at Gibson Park in the Point of Pines. The Patriots will predominately play against freshman teams.
“What we found is that there are few middle school teams available to play in this area,” said DiCarlo, “so our girls will be playing against freshman teams from area high schools such as Danvers, Malden, Cambridge, Peabody, Saugus, Lynn Classical, St. Mary’s of Lynn, and Arlington Catholic.”
The team has begun practices under DiCarlo’s direction at the Susan B. Anthony School field. A tremendous turnout of 45 students showed up at the first tryout last Thursday.
“We’ll be carrying 16 players on the roster,” said DiCarlo. “We have many talented young softball players in Revere. I know many of the players from watching them play in the St. Mary’s Cal Ripken Softball League over the past four years.”
DiCarlo said his purpose for starting the team was that he thought it would be an excellent feeder system for the Revere High School softball program. He also feels the program would encourage more girls to continue their softball careers in the Revere School System.
DiCarlo said the program’s philosophy will be to have his players learn the fundamentals of the game and be better individual players at the end of the season. He also wants the players to have some fun and make some friends.
DiCarlo thanks Adrienne Sacco-Maguire, director of parks and recreation, for being the catalyst for bringing his idea to the attention of school officials. “Adrienne made it possible for me to secure a practice field and work out a home field schedule. Adrienne works hard at her job and deserves a lot of accolades. She is out in the community, always looking to improve our fields and to give our youths opportunities to enjoy recreational and sports activities in the city.”
Mike Hinijosa, an All-Star player at Revere High School and a former shortstop at Suffolk University, will be an assistant coach of the team.
Donations for the team may be sent to: East Boston Savings Bank, 865 Bennington St., East Boston, MA 02128, c/o Revere Middle School Girls Softball.