South Brooklyn’s historic Poly Prep Country Day School gets to work after the exciting unveiling of the institution’s new athletic field.
The champion Poly preparation The Blue Devils have a shiny new baseball field to play ball on now that the ceremonial ribbon has been cut on Matt Roventini Field. On Reunion Day this year, the Poly community was invited to celebrate the renovated field with food trucks and an exciting game between the Devils and national number one Don Bosco Ironmen – whom they beat in their first game on the new lawn.
The festivities also included entertainment from Grammy-winning recording artist Wyclef Jean.
The first pitch was thrown by Arnie Mascali, vice chairman of Poly’s board of trustees and captain of the school’s baseball team in 1984, along with the Mets All-Star pitcher and Poly’s former parent John Franco.
The new name of the estate pays tribute to Roventini who, since 2004, has been running the Poly Prep baseball program to national prominence, winning 13 consecutive Ivy Prep League titles, nine NYSAIS championships and an undefeated season in 2007.
“It is an exceptional honor to have the pitch named after me,” Roventini said in a statement. “Poly baseball has a long tradition of excellence. It is sincere to be recognized in this respect. I hope that during my tenure at Poly, I have had a lasting positive effect on student-athletes.
The new and improved pitch is also a testament to all those players and coaches who came before it, he said.
“It’s also a testament to all those players and coaches I’ve had the privilege of coaching and working with over the years,” Roventini said. “The success we have as a program is a direct reflection of the people involved. It takes a village to build a program at the national level. The new pitch will not only be a tribute to me, but also to all the alumni who have played for Poly. I’m excited for the future.
“What Matt has done for Poly Prep Baseball has been remarkable,” added assistant coach Matt Durando. “He’s a real leader and he knows how to get the most out of every player in the program. He sees the value in every player and finds ways to help them grow. I learned so much from his leadership as a baseball teacher and coach.
The renovation was completed with funds from a generous $5 million donation, aimed at sprucing up Poly’s athletics complex – and specifically renewing the baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse fields at Poly 167-year-old school.