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Belmont Heights Baseball Clinic

Friday June 21, 2019

    Despite a balmy, sunny, hot June day, the spirits of 125 children were high as the Peter J. Mulry Foundation held another top-shelf clinic at Belmont Heights, just north of I-4 and Ybor City, outside of downtown Tampa. Coach Peter Mulry kicked off the morning at 9:30 with opening ceremonies in the welcomed air conditioning of the Belmont Heights Community Room. Then, Coach Jim Zurella told a story about a player during his University of Louisville days — Jim LaFountain — who was later drafted by the Minnesota Twins. Zurella added, “Have a Dream” in charging the boys and girls in attendance to think big and dream even bigger. After the players were excused to the softball and baseball fields, Coach Billie Watson told this reporter that he tells his players “Take advantage of this day. It is free knowledge from these coaches. Soak it all in. Work Hard. Earn it.” Watson, a Coach now for 51 years and counting pointed out that it is really the little things that matter at the end of the day — throwing, hitting, fielding, pitching —- and this is exactly what separate centers or activities that the students participated in.” 

    During the day, Lolita Lovett of the Derek Jeter Foundation participated in her first PJM camp, witnessing the children and coaches during the 90-minute program outside. Belmont Heights Staff Member Devin Reddish shared that there are 150 children at the Belmont Heights Summer Camp this year. The students normally participate in the computer lab, outdoor sports, occasional field trips, and other activities. Reddish said “It is nice to have this clinic today here at the field...It gives the kids something new and different to participate in and enjoy.” Later, Pastor Tom Jones, taking photos like your reporter, told me “We are here today to help and promote this camp. It is such a great day.” Also, Shaveda Williams of the Woodland Terrace Park with the City of Tampa brought eight children from her park to the clinic. She added, “I played softball when I was young and I find that the kids today if they have a passion for baseball or softball then it really makes a difference.” Coach Jimmy Pitisci added “The City of Tampa bus picked up six more players who just arrived... I am ecstatic as I am here for the kids to provide an opportunity to learn more about baseball, softball. We are providing instruction on accountability, honesty, integrity, and so much more. We want the kids to try all sports.” Coach Micah Godwin pointed out “I see a greater talent level here, an improvement from the youngest child to the oldest. These kids are great listeners when some children in this generation are not good listeners.”

    For the closing ceremonies at 11:30 am, Stephen Deanco — Coach at St Leo University — pointed out that working hard on the field is only part of it. Coach continued “a 3.0 GPA opens a lot of pathways in the end. You must take academics seriously and have a strong work ethic.” Deanco asked what does it take to be a good leader? He added that if you are a good person then you are a good leader, commenting that sportsmanship, having the right attitude, and more will make you successful.

    Coach Mulry summed it up quite well, “It was a great morning, it ran smoothly. Loretta at Belmont Heights is the best. Thanks to Loretta for her continued support.”

    • Peter J. Mulry

      President Peter J. Mulry Foundation
      Speaker/Author

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    (850) 221-1045

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