Johnston Girls Softball League holds end-of-season banquet


Johnston Girls Softball League officials are used to the rain old man weather dumped on Rhode Island last Saturday.

“It’s just like our spring season was,” Lisa Calabro, the JGSL’s hard-working president, deadpanned inside Cranston Country Club. “But that rain – and today’s inclement weather – won’t put a damper on any of the festivities we’ll have here today.”

The theme Saturday, just as it has always been under Calabro’s administration, was for each and every one of the JGSL’s 150 players to have fun.

And that’s what happened inside the famed golf club’s main dining room, which was dressed in white linen tablecloths and Panther blue napkins that were neatly arranged in each of the water glasses staffers placed on a dozen or so round tables that overlooked the rain-soaked 18-hole layout.

“Rain has never – ever – dampened anyone’s spirits,” the soft-spoken and popular JGSL president offered. “This is a lot of hard work, but when everyone is on the same page and in it for the kids, we can – and will – accomplish anything!”

That’s why Saturday’s banquet was filled with food, fun and the friendships that people form during a season which was highlighted by the 10-12-year-old all-star squad staking claim to the Rhode Island Little League’s District 4 Championship.

The JGSL held all kinds of raffles, with the Pilkington family winning the day’s top prize – a pair of custom-made cornhole boards that have become highly-popular and are used for such competitions that were recently televised on ESPN.

Unlike most youth sports banquets, there were no trophy layouts anywhere on the tables that were covered with spiffy t-shirts and other JGSL garb.

But the real tell-tale, as someone suggested, that the JGSL is a family-oriented operation that’s designed with warmth and the hope for success for each and every player, came in a special presentation of blankets.

“We’re giving blankets to our players instead of trophies,” Calabro offered. “For starters, they are much more practical…we’re very pleased with the way they turned out.”

The gray-colored blankets, you see, featured a Panther logo and the word Panthers, the official mascot of all Johnston High School athletic teams like the girls’ fast-pitch softball squad that people like Calabro – and others – are hoping that the JGSL will provide the building blocks for JHS teams in the years to come.

When asked what’s next for the JGSL, Calabro softly said: “We are planning a family movie night at the park, and our fall (softball) program will be starting up next month. Please follow us on our website and Facebook pages that will give the days for both events.”

The JGSL, which prides itself in safety for everyone involved, will soon be purchasing an AED (Automate External Defibrillator) that Calabro said will be paid for by “a very generous donation” and that we’ll announce the person’s name and plans sometime soon.”


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