Written by Greg Giaconelli Thursday, 08 August 2013 00:00
Established in 2010, the Long Island Thunderbolts was founded by Coaches Carmine Mazzaro and Peter Janowsky. What started out as one team the first year has now grown to five, as they look to expand on that. The club’s mission is to teach its players the game of softball one pitch at a time. This is accomplished through discipline, respect for each other, trustworthiness and poise as each player pushes and encourages one another to strive for greatness on and off the field.
“Some girls want to play and some are college driven” said 18U Head Coach Janowsky. “We take pride in teaching respect, education and integrity.” The major attribute of this organization is helping the girls develop as players and getting them ready to pursue an opportunity to play softball in college. Players are also assisted with the recruitment process.
While the Thunderbolts are a softball club first, their goal is to promote a number of life skills that will build up self-esteem and confidence in athletics and social situations. The club’s motto is The Thunderbolt’s ACEs. The A stands for Athlete; where the club does its best to help each athlete reach her full potential. The C represents Community, where athletes are encouraged to give back to the community by donating their time and helping to raise money for various charities on Long Island. Finally, the E stands for Education, where a well-rounded athlete must possess solid classroom skills and grades to continue to be a part of the organization.
The Thunderbolts staff is led by Coach Mazzaro, an ASA-certified instructor who has coached more than 900 games in nearly a decade plus for over 12 years and coached in over 900 games. The co-founder of Long Island Thunderbolts has taken teams to the NY State Finals, Pony Nationals and FAST Nationals in Florida. The success of the organization has produced younger coaches, who started out with and have continued playing for the club.
As for the team’s name, while it would be natural to assume that the Thunderbolts were named after a weather pattern, the truth is the moniker refers to World War II era women who became factory workers on Long Island as a means of contributing stateside.