Several of the people who were instrumental in establishing the Two River Little League (TRLL) — a new chapter of Little League International encompassing Fair Haven, Little Silver, Red Bank, Rumson and Shrewsbury — are (left to right): TRLL Board Member John Caruso; TRLL President Chris Kelly; Del Dal Pra, Athletic Director Red Bank Regional High School; TRLL Vice President/Softball Memone P. Crystian, and TRLL Board Member Bob Oakes. (click to enlarge)
The towns of Fair Haven, Little Silver, Red Bank, Rumson and Shrewsbury have formed a new charter as part of Little League International. Known as the Two River Little League, boys and girls ages 9 to 16 can begin signing up January 1 to play baseball and softball this spring. The registration period extends through February 1, and can be accessed at each town’s website. or by visiting the recreational department for each town for registration forms. Younger children ages 5 to 8 will continue to play with their town’s recreational leagues in the existing Peninsula League.
Two River Little League President Chris Kelly of Shrewsbury states, “We believe this new league brings many joint benefits to our five towns. While our individual towns all ran their own recreational programs, we wanted to bring the structure and organization of Little League International to our hometowns and to give our kids the excitement and aspiration to one day play in the Little League World Series.”
The league’s founders believe that this excitement will help stem the decline in participation in the towns’ recreation baseball and softball teams due to the popularity of various travel sports programs. Moreover, few of the towns could field individual softball teams, but together can provide all girls the opportunity to play the sport. This can be accomplished by creating a combined softball team between the towns. It would also afford them the opportunity to play with neighboring Little League chapters such as Eatontown, Middletown, Tinton Falls and West Long Branch.
The league will be divided into two divisions — East (Rumson and Fair Haven), and West (Little Silver, Red Bank and Shrewsbury). For the most part, however, the teams will still be identified by their hometowns — for example, a Little Silver team will be comprised only of players from Little Silver — and will play teams within their divisions until a final championship and all-star game. The current playing venues will be used within each town; however, the founders envision some special events such Friday night “Games of the Week” under the lights at Count Basie field and exciting tournament play. The teams will be financed in part by players’ dues and support from each town’s recreational program.
The Board is comprised of ten directors, with two representatives from each town. They include: Chris Kelly (Shrewsbury), President; Brendan Gilmartin (Shrewsbury); Rafe Fernandez (Fair Haven), Vice President; Anthony Mazzucca (Fair Haven); Rick Brandt (Little Silver), Secretary; Doug Glassmacher (Little Silver); Memone P. Crystian (Red Bank), Vice President/Softball; Mike Ballard (Red Bank), Treasurer; John Caruso (Rumson), and Bob Oakes (Rumson).
The league is looking for volunteer coaches. Anyone interested should contact Chris Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (732)768-6543.