03/02/14 3:00pm
03/02/2014 3:00 PM
Wedel Signs workers installing the Veterans Memorial Park last April in Calverton. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch photo)

Wedel Signs workers installing the Veterans Memorial Park last April in Calverton.
(Credit: Barbaraellen Koch photo)

Riverhead Little League officials announced Saturday the scheduling of a new tournament to be held in town in memory of two fallen American soldiers, U.S. Army Sergeant Jonathan Keller and Sergeant First Class Anthony Venetz Jr.  (more…)

09/25/13 9:00am
09/25/2013 9:00 AM

shed1For the second time in less than five months, someone has broken into the Riverhead Little League shed in Stotzky Park and stolen from the organization.

Police received a call at 8:05 a.m. today after a buildings and grounds employee stumbled upon the damage, which included busting through the door to the little league’s concession stand.

But after the shed was broken into in April, and thieves made off with over $800 in cash and equipment, they weren’t quite as lucky this time. League President Tony Sammartano said since then, they’ve kept much less cash on hand in the register – which the burglars reportedly walked away with.

“We left some change in the drawers and a couple singles,” he said this morning. “Maybe they got away with $40.”

Police were on scene this morning and Sammartano said a crime unit is expected to head over sometime before noon. Though police are currently tied up searching for a couple who reportedly robbed the CVS on Route 58 this morning. In addition, a criminal mischief was reported at an EPCAL business.

Sammartano said whoever broke into the shed walked out with some Starburst and soda, as well as the register itself.

Money raised at the concession stand pays for the league’s umpires.

06/28/13 2:13pm
06/28/2013 2:13 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Riverhead Little League will host the state softball tournament for 11-12-year-old majors division in July.

The Riverhead Little League is getting set to host the state softball tournament for the 11-12-year-old majors division at Stotzky Park.

The six finalists in the state tournament will arrive July 8 and start playing July 9. The tournament could run as long as until July 13, with the one state champion moving onto the overall Little League World Series tournament in Williamsport, Pa. at the end of the month, according to Tony Sammartano, Riverhead Little League president.

The games will be played at Stotzky Park, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day until a champ is crowned.

But while hosting the event is an honor for Riverhead Little League, it’s also expensive, Mr. Sammartano said.

The host league has to provide lunches for players and pay the lodging costs for the players, although not for the players’ families.

As a result, Riverhead Little League has planned a number of fundraising events to help in the effort.

“We really could use your support,” Mr. Sammartano said in an appeal to members of the community. “It’s a big event and something a league doesn’t get to have very often.”

The last time the state championship was held in Riverhead was about 2004, he said.

A July 8 fundraising banquet at Calverton Links’ Eagle Landing restaurant is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 at the door, and there will be a 50-50 raffle and a Chinese auction that also will serve to help offset Riverhead Little League’s overall costs.

League officials are still hoping local residents or businesses can make donations or provide gifts to be auctioned off.

Mr. Sammartano said some businesses have been very generous, such as Home Depot, Digger O’Dell’s bar and restaurant and McDonald’s.

Another way the league is raising funds is through a journal for the tournament.

The league is selling one-page ads for $300, half-page ads for $200 and quarter-page ads for $75.

Mr. Sammartano asks that anyone interested in donating items for the Chinese auction, buying a journal ad or making any kind of contribution to the Little League call him directly at (631) 767-8206.

So, what are the chances of a local team playing in that tournament?

Mr. Sammartano said the Riverhead team was eliminated Thursday, but that the North Shore league’s team, which covers Mount Sinai to Shoreham was still alive as of Thursday night.

tgannon@timesreview.com

05/01/13 12:20pm
05/01/2013 12:20 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A Riverhead Town employee boarded up the Little League's storage area Sunday morning after someone broke into the building the night before.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A Riverhead Town employee boarded up the Little League’s storage area Sunday morning after someone broke into the building the night before.

Three days after someone broke into the Riverhead Little League’s concession stand and storage area, ransacked the building and made off with nearly $800 in cash and items, the concession stand has been reopened, the league’s president said.

Tony Sammartano said the concession stand was back up and running Tuesday.

COURTESY PHOTO | The doors to the Little League's concession stand and storage area were both damaged.

The doors to the Little League’s concession stand and storage area were both damaged.

“There was a bit of a shortfall, but we did [set it up again,]” he said. The money raised by concession sales pays for the Little League’s umpires, he said.

Mr. Sammartano said sponsors of the Little League had offered donations to help get the stand running again, as well as recoup some of the losses.

The concession stand was targeted Saturday night, when someone smashed in the doors of the building in Stotzky Park near the ballfields, police said.

The thieves took about $500 in cash from the building and about $250 in equipment and food was stolen, according to a police report. Three dozen baseballs and old Little League shirts were stolen from the storage area, Mr. Sammartano had said.

The Little League had kicked off opening day to its 61st season just hours before the burglary. The building had been broken into once before about two years ago, he said.

Riverhead police are investigating the break-in.

psquire@timesreview.com

04/28/13 12:39pm
04/28/2013 12:39 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A Riverhead Town employee boarded up the Little League's storage area Sunday morning after someone broke into the building the night before.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A Riverhead Town employee boarded up the Little League’s storage area Sunday morning after someone broke into the building the night before.

Nearly $800 in cash, food and equipment were stolen from the Riverhead Little League’s concession stand and storage Saturday night, Riverhead police said.

Someone smashed in the doors to the Little League’s storage and concession booths at Stotzky Park near the ballfields overnight, police said. About $500 in cash was pulled from the registers and the till and about $250 in equipment and food was stolen, according to a police report.

COURTESY PHOTO | The doors to the Little League's concession stand and storage area were both damaged.

The doors to the Little League’s concession stand and storage area were both damaged.

Whoever broke into the storage building ransacked the inside before they were done, said Little League president Tony Sammartano.

“We found it this morning like this,” he said Monday morning as a Riverhead Buildings and Grounds employee screwed wooden planks over the doors to bar anyone from getting in. Whoever broke in took three dozen baseballs and old Little League shirts from the storage area, Mr. Sammartano said.

The concession stand was also vandalized.

“They trashed the register, they flipped everything over,” he said.

Mr. Sammartano said the break-in wouldn’t affect the Little League games scheduled to be played.

“It’s just going to affect us getting the concessions up and running [again],” he said.

Mr. Sammartano said the Little League kicked off opening day to its 61st season just hours earlier Saturday. The building had been broken into once before about two years ago, he said.

Riverhead police are investigating the break-in.

psquire@timesreview.com

04/27/13 3:00pm
04/27/2013 3:00 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Riverhead Little League players kicked off their 2013 season Saturday morning.

Nearly 500 Little League ballplayers helped dedicate the ballfields in Calverton Saturday morning that are now named after two fallen soldiers from Wading River.

It was a day to bring together families and honor two sons who gave their lives for America’s freedom. Georgia Gabrielsen began the dedication with a beautiful rendition of “God Bless America.”

The ballplayers, who make up 38 teams, paraded around ‘Field One’ with their coaches (dedicated to Army Sgt. Jonathan Keller) behind the Color Guards of the VFW and American Legion of Riverhead and the Boy Scouts.

[Related: Memory of two fallen soldiers to be honored at ballfield.]

Councilman George Gabrielsen, who worked hard for seven years to get the ballfields completed, spoke at the opening.

“I’m so proud to be here today for our veterans who have given so much to our country for our freedom. It is overwhelming for me to be at this historic event at our beautiful 62-acre Veterans Memorial Park.”

He added, looking over a sea of ballplayers wearing many colors, “You guys are so lucky to be the first to play on these fields.”

Supervisor Sean Walter said the fields are dedicated to Army Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Venetz Jr. and Sgt. Keller.

“Because of their sacrifices we stand here today on these fields. Every time you step on them you know this is sacred ground. Play your hearts out for these young men, for it is a memorial to them.”

After the fields were dedicated, the parents of the two fallen soldiers unveiled the signs bearing their names.

Linda Keller and Marion Venetz threw out the ceremonial first pitches on each field.

Sky dive instructor Patty Schneider of Sky Dive Long Island, landed perfectly in the outfield of ‘Field 2′, which is named after Sgt. Venetz. And finally a Wading River pumper truck sprayed the outfield of Sgt. Keller Field as some players ran out to catch the water spray.

photo@timesreview.com

02/16/13 10:00am
02/16/2013 10:00 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Riverhead Little League will host the state softball tournament for 11-12-year-old majors division in July.

SOFTBALL: State tourney coming to Riverhead The Riverhead Little League will host the state softball tournament for the 11-12-year-old majors division. Six teams will participate in the double-elimination tournament, with the dream of earning a berth to the Eastern Regional Tournament in Bristol, Conn. The tournament will open with a Champion Recognition Banquet for the teams and guests, is tentatively scheduled for the week after the Fourth of July, according to the Riverhead Little League president, Tony Sammartano. An opening ceremony and parade of teams will also be held. All games will be played at Stotzky Memorial Park in Riverhead.

“As with any event of this magnitude, we will look to the businesses, community leaders and families of our league to make this event a memorable one for the teams participating and something our town can be proud of,” Sammartano said in a press release.

RUNNING: Riverhead endurance event Registrations are being accepted for the third annual Riverfront 24 Endurance Run/Walk, a benefit for Suffolk County United Veterans that will start at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, and conclude at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 14. A 12-hour Enduro will begin at 2 a.m. on Sunday, April 14, and finish the same time as the 24-hour event. Racers may compete solo or as a team with a limitless number of teammates. For more information, call Suffolk County United Veterans at (631) 924-8088.

MEN’S BASKETBALL: SWR player scores 11 John Kovach of Shoreham had 11 points for Fredonia State in a 98-74 loss at New Paltz on Saturday.