Slaterettes ready for 40 more years

Slaterettes ready for 40 more years

PAWTUCKET - After celebrating 40 years in existence last season, the Pawtucket Slaterettes want to plan for 40 more starting with this year.

The Slaterettes are the only league of its kind in the area, a baseball league just for girls.

"We had a phenomenal year celebrating our 40th anniversary," Slaterettes president Sarah Feeley, said. "We had a '40' theme. Typically each player has a number on the back of their jersey but last year everyone wore the number 40. And for fund-raising we had a 40 day raffle."

Feeley said there were a lot of businesses that donated prizes for the fund-raiser including Six Flags. And then they had a big awards day with a DJ, trophies were given out and there were bounce houses. It was a party.

This year they are back to business already having held three registrations as well as marching in the Pawtucket St. Patrick's Day Parade. They have marched the last six years.

Feeley said that she invited former players, existing players and their family and friends as well as players just signed up. They handed out 500 flyers about their league.

They have two remaining registrations, the last one at tryouts. The next registration will be Saturday, March 22 from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket. On March 29 they will hold registration as well during tryouts from 9 a.m.-noon at Curvin McCabe Elementary School. Tryouts are only for new players and existing players who are moving up a division.

The Slaterettes are still broken down into four divisions. The first is Instructional, which is basically T-ball for players ages 4-7. Cost is $35.

The next division for ages 7-11 is the Minor division and then they have a Junior Division for 12-15-year-olds. For both of those divisions the cost is $50. The final division has had some changes in the last few years but it's the Senior Division. It used to be for players ages 16-18 but is now open.

"If you can run, you can play," Feeley said about the senior division.

Of course it costs more to play, $100, but they do have payment plans and this year offered early bird discounts to existing players. They also offer sister discounts.

The oldest player they have playing right now is Janet Kowalski, who is 54, and has been playing the last six years. The adult division also does not have to try out.

Right now they have about 70 players signed up, Feeley said, but she added that the weather has not helped them one bit.

"If this white stuff stops falling from the sky we should begin the first week of April," she said.

So from March 29 until their field cleanup day, scheduled for April 5, they will be drafting teams.

That usually falls to the player agent, who is Deb Bettencourt. Bettencourt has been involved with the league for a long time, first playing then coaching from the age of 18 and this year signifies her daughter's first year playing.

Feeley said that they have had a large amount of interest from younger kids so they will be adding a team in the Instructional Division, having four this year. She assumes there will still be three teams in the Minor Division, two in the Junior and four in the Senior. Draft-wise, leaue officials work a lot with the parents and the kids trying to make the schedules as convenient as possible.

Another thing they do to make it easier on the parents is having opening day on a Friday night. This year it is scheduled for April 25. Feeley said that they feed all the players, take team and individual photos while also having a DJ.

The three younger divisions officially start their season the Monday after opening day and run until the last week of June. They play at the Boys & Girls Club.

The adult division does not start until June and goes to the end of August and they play at Slater Park. In both the Minor and Senior divisions, they hold playoffs and a championship but for Instructional and Junior they play family games when family members play in the game.

"Junior is a tough age grow as the girls as in junior high school and high school trying out for school sports and clubs," Feeley said. "It's hard to keep girls in that division."

Feeley said that some of the girls they lose during junior high and high school find their way back to the league. It helps that the league is very family-oriented. Each member of the board coaches, plays or has daughters that play in the league.

The Slaterettes have a few board changes but Feeley said that it is basically the same crew. Vanessa Menard is the vice president and is a coach, player and her three daughters play. Deanna Raphael is the uniform manager and coaches a team. Bethanie Roman is the Senior Division Director, coaches a team and her two daughters play. Tina Trahan is the treasurer and plays in the senior division. Chris Saunders is the Instructional Director, coaches and his two daughters play.

Park Coelho in the Junior Division Director while his wife, Meagan, is the recording secretary. Meagan also ran the concession stand last year. Their three daughters also play. The corresponding secretary is Kelly Baker and she also coaches and her three daughters play. Becky Estrella is the equipment manager and a senior division player along with Renee Astphan who is the Minor Division Director.

Most of their girls are from Pawtucket but Feeley said they have no boundaries. You do not have to live in Pawtucket in order to play for the Slaterettes. They have had adults from all over including Worcester, Boston and Hopedale, Mass.

They are still accepting registrations and try to keep their fees down, Feeley said, so that it's affordable for everyone.

If anyone has any questions or concerns they can visit the league website at www.slaterettes.com or contact Feeley at 401-230-7638.