Rowan College Softball Team Misses Cocoa Beach Spring Training But Lifts Spirits of Apollo Elementary Students
By Space Coast Daily // April 22, 2020
COVID-19 cancels annual trip to the space coast with Cocoa Beach Spring Training
WATCH: Brevard Production’s program of Cocoa Beach Spring Training, which provides games, practices, umpires, hotels and meals to hundreds of college and high school teams every year on Florida’s Space Coast. Go to CocoaBeachSpringTraining.com for more information.
BREVARD COUNTY TITUSVILLE FLORIDA – The Rowan College of South Jersey softball team was not able to make its annual trip to Space Coast Spring Training this year, but that did not bench the Roadrunners when it came to uplifting the spirits of elementary school students in Florida’s Brevard Public School District.
“When the crisis hit our nation, about half of our annual teams were unable to travel to our spring training program which was tough for our local economy – but we’re already planning for 2021 and our teams are greatly looking forward to coming back,” said Giles Malone, Partner with Brevard Production Inc., which has provided spring training for softball, baseball and lacrosse teams for 34 years.
For the past few years, Rowan College of South Jersey’s softball team has eagerly participated in community service projects during their spring break.
In August, the Roadrunners began their annual initiative collecting school supplies, physical education equipment and more than $300 in gift cards to deliver to children at the Apollo Elementary School.
Spearheaded by five Elementary Education majors, the Roadrunners sprang into action—assembling eight boxes of assorted school and athletic supplies —after learning that the 839 students attending the Title 1 school had little-to-no playground equipment.
Then the pandemic hit. When the team’s annual spring break trip to Cocoa Beach and softball season got canceled, Head Coach Stephen DePasquale and the softball team quickly changed their game plan.
“In light of these tough times for everyone, the team remained positive shipping, instead of personally delivering, the boxes of supplies to the school so that when the Apollo School children return to the playground they have athletic gear,” said DePasquale.
“It has been one of the toughest times I have been through as an educator and a coach. Although it was hard to see my devasted student-athletes’ faces after canceling their trip and the season, the work they have put into this project has been amazing. A special thank you to Sam and Cheryl Micklus, owners of the education program Odyssey of the Mind, for assisting with the cost of shipping.”
Mackenzie Freas, a sophomore Elementary Education major said being a part of the Rowan College of South Jersey softball team is very humbling.
“Coach Steve always wants us to give back to the community and to help in any way that we can. When we heard about the Apollo School District in Florida we knew we wanted to help out,” said Freas.
“We had countless boxes filled with not only school supplies, but also playground equipment. Each softball player received donations from family and friends while also donating their own stuff. It was amazing being able to help out so much.”
Apollo Elementary School Assistant Principal Trelawney Wise thanked the Rowan College of South Jersey coaches and student-athletes fort heir generosity.
“I hope this picture will put a smile on your faces,” said Wise in an email.
“The students loved everything. It was like Christmas. Thank you very much for choosing Apollo School. We are very appreciative. Stay safe and be blessed.”
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