All summer long, the Cranston League for Cranston’s Future (CLCF) Bombers Gold softball team has been showcasing their talents to college scouts in hopes of playing at the next level.
But as the season came to a close this past weekend, the team wanted to use the time they had left with each other to give back to the community in some way, said parent volunteer Amanda Carnevale. So they chose the Rhode Island Food Bank, located on Atwood Avenue, as their avenue for service.
The team consists mostly of students from Cranston East and Cranston West, with a few other Rhode Island high schools sprinkled in and one player, Aspen Ryan, who came from Idaho to play for the team.
Most of the girls have played together for a while, and Carnevale said the summer before senior year is important for them because the team’s sole focus is showcasing their talents to college scouts.
Carnevale also said that volunteering at the Food Bank last Wednesday was the first time that team had ever done any sort of community service as a group.
“As a team we wanted the girls to make sure they participated in their community and to do something for Cranston, because they represent Cranston,” she said. “We’ve never done something like this before. This is really big for our girls.”
She said the connection with the food bank just came through a joint idea, and Ellen Feole, the wife of the team’s head coach Dave Feole, made a call to the food bank and got it set up.
Jeanne Herbert, who is the volunteer coordinator for the food bank, said that it’s not often that a high school sports team volunteers with them. She said it’s mostly corporate volunteers or, if it is a sports team, one from a local university. She said a lot of the high schoolers they get are just completing their community service hours.
“This is pretty rare,” she said about the Bombers helping out last week. “It’s pretty cool.”
The players were there for three hours on Wednesday, with the goal of making hundreds of boxes that the Food Bank sends out to communities for kids who need food over the summer to pick up.
The boxes consisted of canned foods, packets of cereal, milks, coloring books, crayons and a written meal plan aimed at teaching the kids how to maintain proper nutrition.
The Bombers had to form a system much like a conveyor belt to efficiently get the boxes done, starting with the sorters and finishing with the taping up of boxes down at the end.
Carnevale said the players were enjoying the work and “absolutely loved it,” and were talking about how they wanted to go back and do it again soon.
The team wrapped up its summer season and now looks to fall ball with CLCF or just training until their high school seasons start next spring.
Carnevale said that it’s been a good season and the players have garnered a lot of interest from D-III colleges around the area, including Umass Amherst, Wheaton, Suffolk and the more nearby Rhode Island schools. She said the Bombers travel all across the East coast, from New York to New Hampshire and Vermont, to showcase their talents.
She also said that though the girls want to play college softball, they know that they have to choose a college based on where they can make a career and get a good education.
There are 12 players on the team and four coaches, including head coach Dave Feole and asst. coaches Greg Hazian, Katie Costa, and Guilanna Hathaway.