It’s a classic ceremony held once a year for an exclusive group of pre-teen youngsters.
It’s reserved for royalty and honors a dozen or so residents for their awesome athletic accomplishments.
In short, it’s Mayor Joseph Polisena’s annual invitation for the Johnston Little League’s town champions to visit town hall, an event that has often been likened to the President of the United States inviting Major League Baseball’s World Champions to the White House.
In fact, Johnston – per Polisena – is the only town and/or city in Rhode Island that holds such a heart-warming youth sports celebration.
So Monday morning, even before he finished his morning coffee, Polisena welcomed the Johnston Little League’s “Boys of Summer” – and many of their parents - into his jam-packed Executive Chamber for an inspirational and moving ceremony that was highlighted by each member 2019 Town Champions Orioles receiving personalized commendations.
As each member of the champion O’s entered Polisena’s office, the Mayor shook each player and coach’s hand and offered one of many “congratulations” he issued during Monday’s ceremony that he has always made special since initiating the unique policy three years ago.
“First of all, congratulations on winning the Town Championship,” Polisena began as proud parents recorded the historic moment on their cell phones. “We are all proud of what you have accomplished.”
What the Orioles did was bounce back from the postseason playoff loser’s bracket after being drubbed 12-2 by the Cardinals then defeated the Athletics, 9-2, and Cardinals 8-6 and 15-9, to win the squad’s fourth Town Championship in the past nine seasons.
“Sports is an integral part of your growing up,” Polisena told the champion O’s. “Johnston is well-known for being a super sports town and you have again put us on the map. Congratulations, boys, we’re thrilled to have you here today and honor your great championship season.”
There were two other messages the mayor delivered during Monday’s lively ceremony.
“I want to congratulate your parents for keeping you boys in sports,” said Polisena. “The number of participants is down … too far down in youth sports. So I thank the parents for their commitment to keep your children on the playing fields.”
After pausing, the Mayor directed a message to the champion O’s, saying, “Please keep on playing sports; I wrestled in high school and my son played sports that have always been important.”
So much so, as Polisena went on, “Sports can and will teach you many lessons you can carry throughout your lives. Forget about those computer games, keep playing sports.”
With that, Polisena presented each member of the O’s with a blue folder that contained an official commendation that read, in part, “As Mayor, it is always an honor to recognize outstanding accomplishments in our Town. It is with great pleasure to extend congratulations to you on winning the 2019 Town Championship. It is with great satisfaction to acknowledge you, and I would like to express the hope for your continued success in the years to come.”
The entire championship club, which was sponsored by Lisi Construction and co-sponsored by the Johnston Lions Club, includes: Preston Marchesseault, Dean Paris, Matthew Jones, Tyler Holton, Ryan Carvalho. Max Mousseau, Christian Ferranti, Jayden Calcagno, Anthony Vendetti, Antonio Morales, Fabian Aleman, Manager Mike Mousseau and Coaches Robert Civetti and Rafael Diaz. Cutlines for pix o sheets slugged 08-20-19 851
O’S 1 IMG 4285
BIRDS BANNER: Members of the Lisi Construction/Lions Club sponsored squad that recently staked claim to the Johnston Little League’s prestigious 2019 Town Championship, proudly display their banner on the steps of Town Hall during Monday’s special ceremony hosted by Mayor Josephs Polisena. (Sun Rise photos by Pete Fontaine) O’S 2 IMG 4279
MIGHTY MOMENTO: Mayor Joseph Polisena holds the official game ball which was used during the 2019 Johnston Little League’s town Championship finale won by the Orioles for the fourth time in last nine seasons.