|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
||For More Information, Contact:
|November 27, 2006
||Coria Holland, Director of Communications
||617-727-5300, ext. 258
Probation Invests in Community Through Youth Sports
District Court Assistant Chief Probation Officer Matt Stracuzzi,
middle, and Pittsfield South 12-year-old All-Star Team
Name the sport. From swimming to basketball to
baseball to boxing, probation employees across the state are
steering youths away from trouble and onto the playing fields
and courts of youth sports.
Each season, there is a Probation Officer somewhere in the state serving as a coach or coordinator of a sports team or league.
Assistant Chief VanThomas Straughter of BMC-Dorchester is a head coach of the Mission Hill/Fenway Pop Warner football team. In their 4th year, the football players and cheerleaders range in age from 7 to 15 years old. Nearly 400 children have played or cheered.
Michael Branch, a BMC-Dorchester P.O., has served as a coach for a semi-pro team, the New England Football League, for the past four years. The team celebrated its fourth championship this year.
Norfolk Superior Court Probation Officer Stephen
Koenig coaches the “Challenge League,” a baseball team for
disabled children in Norwood.
Steve DeLuca, BMC-Charlestown Court Probation
Officer, has served as a boxing coach for the J.P. McKeon
Post Youth Boxing Program in Dorchester for 20 years. Several
of the boys he has coached are Golden Gloves champions.
Probation Officer II Terrence Lee of Somerville
District Court oversees the partnership between the court
and the Somerville Boxing Club where offenders have taken
up the sport.
BMC-East Boston Chief Probation Officer David
Arinella has coached the winning East Boston High School
Aqua Jets, a swim team which has won a record number 250
swim meets over the years.
Hampden Probate & Family Court Chief Probation Officer John Johnson is the commissioner of the Western Massachusetts Touch Football League, which includes 16 teams.
Woburn District Court Probation Officer Dennis Visconti has contributed significantly to youth baseball and softball in Stoneham as the town’s chairman for the Recreation Department and as past president of the Stoneham Youth Softball team. He has also managed the Junior Olympics Softball team and coached the Stoneham Youth Basketball team.
Quincy District Court Probation Officer Paul
Wholey coaches basketball teams in the South Shore called
the POPS AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) League for children
in grades six to 11. The POPS league is named in honor of
his father, John F. Wholey, a youth league coach in the area
from the early 1960’s to the mid 1970’s.
Greenfield District Court Probation Officer John Jones coaches girls basketball. He has served as coach of the Western Mass Tigers for the past eight years.
Franklin Superior Court Probation Officer Mike Gralenski runs the soccer program for third and fourth graders in the town of Erving. When Gralenski is not coaching soccer, he sometimes helps out with the local youth basketball league.