The Chargers, the girls softball team field by I.S. 276 (also known as the Battery Park City School), took the City-wide championship in the spring of this year, but the title was decided so late in the school year that it wasn’t until this autumn that the squad could reunite on the steps of City Hall, where City Council member Margaret Chin honored them with a City Council Proclamation.
“Congratulations to the Chargers for showing us exactly what our City’s girls can achieve by dreaming big and persisting towards their goal,” Ms. Chin said at the ceremony. “Through their hard-earned victory, the Chargers have risen up as a model of teamwork, dedication and girl power for their peers in Lower Manhattan and across the City.”
Chargers coach Jon Carey added, “it was an incredible experience for the girls, along with myself and all the coaches, to be recognized at City Hall. We were honored to represent I.S. 276 and the Manhattan Youth athletics program. It was an event that we will never forget.”
The girls softball program at P.S. 276, like all middle school athletic programs at Lower Manhattan public schools, is managed by Manhattan Youth, in partnership with the City’s Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), through its program, Schools Out New York City
(SONYC). Under this partnership, Manhattan Youth has created a Middle-School Athletic League, modeled on the Public-School Athletic League that oversees high school sports programs throughout the five boroughs. After the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio expanded DYCD funding for the SONYC program in 2014, thousands of additional middle school students gained access to after-school enrichment programs, such as sports leagues.
“These sports leagues are an essential part of the SONYC/Middle-School Expansion program,” noted Theseus Roche, who manages the program for Manhattan Youth. “They provide essential services to students in the most vulnerable years of adolescence.”
The Chargers squad that took the championship in June was comprised of 14 highly merited sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, who lost only one game during regular season play, and scored nine, 12, and 14 runs in the final three playoff games. During their championship game, all ten members of the starting lineup got on base, and nine of them scored one or more runs.
Coach Carey, who led the team to victory along with assistant coaches Ryan Bucci and Zane Holems, said “a lot of teams, you know, their first four batters are good and then the rest are kind-of weak. But we can get a hit from anywhere, which is really what won it for us.”