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Bro. Robert Kent honored at Sandlot Athletic Alliance’s Annual Awards Dinner

Monday, January 28, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michael Graziano
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Local Baseball Coaches Receive Sandlot Awards
December 5, 2018
By Jim Mancari

Normally the baseball programs at St. Francis Prep, Fresh Meadows, and Xaverian H.S., Bay Ridge, are bitter rivals on the diamond.

However, for one autumn night, these two programs got together to honor their varsity coaches.

The Greater New York Sandlot Athletic Alliance (GNYSAA) hosted its 14th annual Raymond F. Church Service to Youth Baseball Awards Dinner on Nov. 28 at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach.

St. Francis Prep head varsity coach Brother Robert Kent, O.S.F., and Xaverian head varsity coach Frank Del George were the deserving recipients of coaching excellence awards for their dedication to the advancement of local sandlot programs.

From Holy Name to the Prep
Brother Robert Kent, O.S.F. (Photo courtesy of St. Francis Prep)

A native of Holy Name of Jesus, Park Slope, Brother Robert began coaching Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) basketball and baseball at the parish while he was a college student at St. John’s University, Jamaica.

He decided religious life was the right path for him and spent two years studying to become a Franciscan. In September 1968, he arrived at St. Francis Prep, then in Williamsburg.

Brother Robert taught history and later math and immediately became involved with the school’s athletic program. From the start, he coached freshman basketball and junior varsity baseball. He eventually took over the varsity baseball team in 1981, in addition to serving as the school’s athletic director.

This spring will mark Brother Robert’s 52nd season as a coach at the Prep. In baseball, his teams have won five junior varsity city championships and three varsity city championships. He reached the 600-win plateau in April 2014.

He was inducted into the CHSAA Hall of Fame in 2003 and was a member of the Prep’s inaugural Ring of Honor class in 2014. All these accolades aside, Brother Robert has more so enjoyed developing relationships with the people in the Catholic league over the years.

“It’s not about me,” said Brother Robert, who is also the school’s alumni director. “It’s all my assistant coaches and my players. They deserve most of the credit. There were so many great coaches and players.”

In receiving the award from a sandlot organization, Brother Robert said he knows the value these local leagues bring in developing young baseball players.

“The sandlot leagues have made thousands of kids – even millions of kids – better people and keep doing great things for the young men and women,” he said.

As the players transition from sandlot ball to high school ball, Brother Robert is there to ensure the student-athletes possess a strong work ethic to help them in their future vocation – whether that involves baseball or another chosen path.

“We want him to become a whole person, to become a hard worker,” he said. “We only have a couple of rules: Be on time, work hard and do the right thing in the community, the classroom and with your family.”

It’s this philosophy that has kept Brother Robert coaching for so long. He knows what it takes to succeed in a competitive league, both on the diamond and in preparing the young men for whatever lies ahead. Read the full story here: https://thetablet.org/local-baseball-coaches-receive-sandl…/