BELLEVILLE, NJ — In Belleville, athletics are certainly important. That means providing the best facilities and resources for youngsters to achieve their athletic goals.
It’s no wonder why coaches and athletes are excited about the new Belleville indoor training facility.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Saturday, Oct. 29, attended by dignitaries and officials.
The facility, located at 522 Cortlandt St., features two wrestling rooms, an area for dance and cheerleading, a workout room with weights, a mini track, retractable baseball cages, and a speed-and-agility area.
“This was something that we’ve been dedicated to for a while, working on all our facilities and giving our students the best opportunities possible,” Belleville High School athletic director Marcellino Marra said in a phone interview with the Belleville Post.
Marra said that everyone in town has the chance to use the facility, including recreation teams.
In emails to the Belleville Post, several BHS coaches expressed their excitement about the facilities.
BHS longtime head baseball coach Joe Sorce attended the ceremony to officially open the facility.
“It looks great,” Sorce said. “The turf room will be very beneficial to us. There are four cages, which we can use for live hitting, drills, and bullpens. We can also raise them and do defense. The track and weight room is also something we can utilize often. We’re really excited to get to work!”
Chris Cantarella, the head coach for both the BHS girls basketball and softball teams, also noted the benefits of the facility.
“The new facility is amazing,” Cantarella said. “It will allow for athlete teams to practice in a more functional environment when the weather is not ideal. For softball, moving from the girls gym at the middle school to a place where we can hit live pitching or field ground balls will help our athletes. The softball/baseball side is like having our own Lefty’s (a baseball facility in Clifton). The wrestling room gives that team a stable place to practice and work out. Our golf team has its own simulator, and the crew team has to practice as well. I wish this place was around 10, 20, even 30 years ago. It will be a wonderful place for current and future student athletes of Belleville.”
Brian Antab, who completed his first year as the BHS head football coach, said the facility will do wonders for his program.
“The new facility is going to be a huge asset for all Belleville student-athletes,” Antab said. “I am extremely excited for the workouts our student-athletes will be able to complete here in their offseason. This facility will also be very useful to the football team in season. To have the ability to use an indoor turf field on inclement weather days in season is a game changer for us.”
Photos Courtesy of Belleville HS athletics