Little Neck-Douglaston baseball coach happy to see league growing

little league
Photo courtesy of Nicholas Singh

Little Neck-Douglaston head coach Nicholas Singh is very proud of his team’s performance in the Bayside Little League spring season after they made it all the way to the championship game. However, he is even more grateful for the work of the rest of the coaching staff, invested interest from parents and the work to expand the league by those who run it.

According to Singh, his coaching staff did a tremendous job both with his team of 11-to-12-year-olds and as well as the younger age groups. In addition to acting as the first base coach for Singh’s team, Ariel De La Rosa has also been in charge of the pee wee team, composed of 5-to-6-year-olds. Bench coach Lou Balkovic also runs the 7-to-8-year-old team.

Little Neck-Douglaston coach
Photo courtesy of Nicholas Singh

Singh also expressed his gratitude toward third base coach Steve Barongi, 9-to-10-year-old head coach Robert Mimnaugh and the team’s sponsors, Five Guys Burgers and Fries in the Bay Terrace Shopping Center and Gino’s Pizza on Springfield Boulevard. He also gave a shout-out to Tony DePhillips of DePhillips Sports for manufacturing the team uniforms. Additionally, he thanked those in charge of Preller Field for leasing it out to his league for games and maintaining a beautiful facility.

“We were the youngest team in the league this year,” Singh said. “I’m proud of what the coaches and I achieved this year. The coaches, along with PEGS, did all the work with the kids. Without them, this success doesn’t happen.”

Little Neck-Douglaston coach
Photo courtesy of PEGS and Nicholas Singh

While recruiting has already begun for the fall league, Singh is already in talks with teams and players to take part in a summer baseball camp. The summer baseball program, coming in partnership with PEGS Baseball, will be run by Roger Mischel and Calvin Luk, both of whom played a big role in training Singh’s team. According to Singh, Luk used to play for LND about 20 years ago before becoming a pitcher for the baseball team at Queens College.

Singh also voiced his gratitude to Little Neck Douglaston Vice President of Baseball Ralph Cenname. He credits Cenname for creating a welcoming environment for parents and children alike in the league.

“He’s always accessible to the parents and very supportive,” Singh said. “He’s volunteered a lot of his time for the entire program.”

After emerging out of nowhere to come one win away from the spring league’s championship, Singh has great expectations for the Little Neck-Douglaston Lightning. While he and the team are certainly grateful for the medals they received for their second-place finish, Singh hopes to lead his team to a championship soon. He wants to see his players get rewarded for all the time put into practicing and getting better in games two to three times a week while also being great students, mostly in District 26 public schools.

Singh has also expressed the desire to create an additional age group for the league in the near future. As those in the 11-to-12-year-old range get older, Singh wants to keep them included in the league through the establishment of a 13-to-15-year-old Pony division. He’s hopeful that the recruitment of other teams from northeastern Queens will create the opportunity for this expansion in the Northeast Queens Alliance.

Each team in the spring league had 11 to 14 kids. Thanks to Singh’s team recruitment efforts, there are expected to be six to 10 teams in the 11-12 age group during the fall league. His sponsors, Five Guys, and Gino’s Pizza will post flyers promotions fall little league registration for LND. He said he’s hopeful that with this the league will grow from 51 kids in the spring to 100 in the fall.