BLOOMFIELD, NJ – For most kids, one of the great joys of summertime is playing baseball and softball.
That’s particularly true in Bloomfield where children get to play on teams. They also love to attend the Bengals Baseball and Softball camps held at Bloomfield Middle School.
The 11th Annual Bengals Baseball Camp, for children in grades 2-8, took place for three weeks: July 17-21; July 24-28; and July 31-August 4. The camp is founded and directed by Bloomfield High School head coach Mike Policastro, who was a standout baseball player for the Bengals, Class of 1989. The camp started in 2007, which followed Policastro’s first year as the Bengals head coach.
The Bengals Baseball Camp enjoyed a strong turnout as the campers learned the fundamentals of the sport such as throwing, fielding, hitting and running.
The camp’s staff also included Policastro’s former and current players. Among the former players are John McAndrew, Class of 2014; Jordan Guglielmino, Class of 2015; and Mike Chiaravalotti, Class of 2008. Chiaravalotti is a coach on the baseball staff at Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey.
Mike Aldiero, the BHS JV baseball coach, also was on the camp’s staff.
In its fourth year, the Lady Bengals Softball Camp, directed by BHS alum Jen Santa, had a good turnout as well. Policastro noted how softball is starting to become more popular again in Bloomfield.
Policastro emphasized how the team is all about “teaching (the campers) the right way to play; teaching them the things that they need to know as they get older.”
What’s great about the camp every year is the fact that the same kids come back.
“The good thing is that most of these kids are yearly campers,” Policastro said. “They come to us every single year. The seventh- and eighth-graders have been coming to us, three or four years. We have kids who are in seventh grade who have been coming here since second grade. Josh Cruz, who graduated last year from me, came back since he was in second grade. He had come 10 years ago with one of my first camps. You see these kids who have come (to the camp) and now they have graduated high school.”