14 Sep 2014
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Pearl River Little League Celebrates 60th Season

Pearl River Little League honored long-time contributors and held a moment of silence for two former players as part of its annual season opening ceremony Saturday at the Anderson Field Complex in Orangeburg.

Pearl River Little League started holding games in 1954 at Dexter Park in Pearl River, the current site of the Defiant Brewery.

The league eventually moved to its current home at American Legion Post 1199's Anderson Field in Orangeburg, where the league celebrated the official opening of its 60th season with a ceremony Saturday morning.

"Certainly it has come a long, long way," said Mel Liebmann, who was honored Saturday for his years of contributing to Pearl River Little League. "The people who dedicate their time and efforts, you can’t say enough about what they do. I think this is one of the best little leagues everywhere." 

Pearl River Little League President Joan Bourke began with a moment of silence in honor of two former players who passed away over the offseason. Thomas Scognamiglio, who was a junior at Pearl River High School, died in Oct. after a long battle with Osteosarcoma, a form of cancer.  a 2012 Pearl River High School graduate, was struck and killed by a motor vehicle in February of this year. 

"In the past few months, the community of Pearl River suffered two devastating losses with two young men, Tommy Scognmaiglio and Tommy Argenti, passed away," Bourke said. "Both young men played here at Anderson Field and, needless to say, they left our community way too soon. 

Saturday's ceremony focused on acknowledging people who keep the league running, from the American Legion Post for the use of the land to the PRLL board, coaches and other volunteers. 

Bourke recognized outgoing members of the board, including Rick Alicandri, who stepped down after 12 years as VP for softball. Alicandri threw out the official first pitch for softball while Liebmann took the honor for baseball.

The Pearl River High School varsity softball team joined in honoring Alicandri. Two of his daughters, Samantha and Caroline, play for the varsity. 

"Over 3,000 young girls played these fields under his tenure," said Mike Woods, PRLL's new VP for softball. "A lot goes into that. Four of those girls were his very own daughters."

Woods pointed out that Pearl River softball teams won six state championships over the last 12 years. The organization also added t-ball for softball players and offseason softball clinics. The clinics raise money to pay for improvements to the Anderson Complex softball fields. 

"The Pearl River Little League softball program is the envy of Rockland County," Woods said. "A lot of that is due to what Rick installed over the last 12 years."

Woods also acknowledged Bourke for her work as Pearl River Little League president. 

"She does it with such respect for everyone, kids especially," Woods said. "To the board members and the community. You can't say enough about what Joanie does for this league."

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