RANDOLPH, NJ- Following a first ever spring recreation Little League Baseball season that included competing against teams from Dover, Rockaway Borough, Wharton and Mine Hill, the Randolph Baseball Committee joined forces with the neighboring towns to make available a Fall 60/90 season for new 13-year-olds eager to transition to the “Big Field” before spring.
TEAM: Together, Everyone Achieves More! This acronym, commonly referenced in youth sports, reminds individual players that they need others to be successful. This fall the Randolph Baseball Committee brought the acronym to life with help from some local communities and parent volunteers.
The fifteen-player roster, managed by Dan Perruso of Rockaway Borough, first met one another the day after Labor Day and played their first game, a win over Mount Olive in extra innings, justfive days later. Since then the 13-U team, referred to as “The Bulldogs,” has achieved a regular season record of 5-5, in “The Bigs League”.
According to Perruso, “It has been an honor to manage this team of boys. Initially, I was a bit worried about having responsibility for a group of players I didn’t even know. After the first practice, any doubts were cast aside. The boys brought together complementary skills and a passion for the sport that immediately transformed them from opponents to teammates. There was synergy, mutual commitment, and trust. They knew they needed each other to form a team and play a game they clearly love! The support from the parents who not only entrusted me to guide their players, but helped out at practices and games in a multitude of ways, made the season even more enjoyable for me and my son, Daniel Jr.”
Assisting Perruso were coaches Chris Bruun and Marc Laqui of Randolph, Fred Munoz of Rockaway Borough and official scorekeeper Bert Piechota from Mine Hill. Stan Morgievich and Mike Paladino were regular contributors too, throwing batting practice to the boys as often as possible.
The roster included eight Randolph players: Andrew Morgievich, Brendan Bruun, Brendan Laqui, Dante Tucci, Jonah Tullman, Kyle Bachrach, Mikey Paladino and Shane Manzi. They were joined by Alejandro Martinez and Daniel Suarez of Dover, Anthony Cirella and A.J. Piechota from Mine Hill and Rockaway Borough’s Daniel Perruso Jr., Tyler Munoz, and Aidan Kennedy.
Brendan Laqui, the team's catcher, recalls not knowing the names of all his teammates in the first game of the season. "While I knew the Randolph players very well, I only played one game against each of the others in the spring. Since our first game of this fall season was after just one practice, I would have to say that the hardest part of moving to the big field wasn't playing for a new manager or on a larger field, it was getting all my new teammates names right," he said with a chuckle.
Undefeated in the post-season, the Bulldogs will compete for the league Championship this coming weekend. Reflecting on the experience, parent Joan Cirella of Mine Hill added, “Win or lose, this season has been a tremendous success for the boys and the towns. These boys have shown that together everyone truly achieves more. On behalf of the players, parents and coaches, thank you to the Randolph Baseball Committee, most notably Dave Tamres, and Jeanne Montemarano of the Randolph Parks and Recreation Department for affording our baseball players this unique opportunity. And of course, a special thank you to Daniel Perruso for volunteering to manage the team. Without Dan, these boys would only see each other as opponents. Now they are so much more in terms of both teammates and friends."