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Softball Camp Gives Girls Game, Life Skills

Heights' Leslie Korkgy-Valenti of the All Starz Clinic once again hosted Softballstarz camp for girls this week.

Dozens of girls took the Little League Field this week to play, learn and have fun with the game of softball as Heights’ Leslie Korkgy-Valenti once again presented the Softballstarz summer camp.

This year the girls walked away with much more than sharper skills on the field. They got to meet and speak with many coaches who have played at the college level, met a former member of the White Sox and a former scout for the Dodgers.

One of the most important lessons they got is one that is Korkgy-Valenti holds dear. As it is the 40th anniversary of Title IX, legislation that banned sexual discrimination in schools for athletics, she wanted the girls to know how fortunate they are to have the opportunities they have today in sports. 

When she was growing up, she realized that she was among the first generation to have equality in sports teams. Her appreciation for this .

All week long the girls received instruction in pitching, catching and batting from many of the members of the All Starz family.

Korkgy-Valenti opened All Starz about three years ago. It’s located in Lodi and serves the Heights and surrounding communities. She also brought in guest coaches like high school softball coach Jackie Ferranti and the girls also worked with Jose Antigua who was a catcher with the White Sox in the early 1990s.

Frank Bodner, a former scout with the LA Dodgers, spoke to the girls about the importance of keeping their grades up in school, as what they do off the field will also help them on the field.

The girls also got a taste for what the future may be like if they want to keep playing softball as they got to hear from people who coach college teams and from some who have played in college championships.

Rocco Constantino, who is head coach of the softball team at Bloomfield College, visited to tell the kids about the many opportunities they have before them.

He spoke of the importance of learning as it is something they will always continue to do. With 30 years of playing behind him, he finds he is still learning when he is on the field. Learning from one’s mistakes can be a positive thing as well as remembering the successes one has had on the field, he told the girls.

The girls got to learn from guest instructors like Erin Trippi, a catcher whose softball team at Hofstra got in to the Division 1 super regionals for the first time in the school’s history.

Korkgy-Valenti has even more plans to take the summer clinic even further. She is working on a developmental program where All Starz will develop teams for under 14 and under 12 girls so they can play in a tournament next summer. She pointed out the programs are open to athletes who are serious about their sport but do not have to necessarily be the best athlete. She is not looking for the elite and will not cut kids. She wants to give them all the opportunity to play.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Alana Quartuccio at alana.quartuccio@patch.com, or follow Hasbrouck Heights Patch on Facebook or Twitter. For news straight to your inbox sign up for the daily newsletter.

leslie korkgy-valenti July 13, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Thank You Alana! You summed it all up perfectly!!!
Alana Quartuccio July 13, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Thanks for the feedback Leslie and thanks for letting me come by to witness some of the action!
Michele July 13, 2012 at 07:18 PM
My daughter raved about the camp each night and was sad to see it end. Every night she was so excited to show us what she has learned in the camp. I would highly recommend this camp to anyone's child who wants to sharpen their softball skills and meet other girls in the sport. Leslie brings in knowledgeable role models for the girls to meet and train with.
Cathy Cuttita July 14, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Leslie is a fabulous instructor and role model. My daughter daughter loved camp. She learned so much and is already looking forward to future All Starz camps/clinics! Thanks To Leslie and all the coaches!

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