SHARKS ANNOUNCE FORMATION OF CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

As part of our long term commitment to the island community the MV Sharks are excited and proud to announce our plans to establish the Sharks Charitable Foundation. The SCF will be a 501c non-profit corporation and donors will be able to make tax-deductible gifts. The mission of the Foundation will be to:
 
1) Annually provide scholarship grants to two Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School seniors who are going on to play a sport in college.
 
2) Subject to NCAA rules, provide scholarships to two MV Sharks players at the end of each Sharks season.
 
3) Provide grants for upgrades of athletic facilities on the island, including the Shark Tank.
 
SGC will have a Board of Trustees and this board will select and invite five members from the community to form an awards committee. This committee will meet and determine who will receive the annual scholarships and grants; and, how much they will receive.
 
The initial funds to start the SGC are being provided by MV Sharks ownership. We will also be reaching out, on and off the island, for donations to help us build an endowment. As with the team we want the SCF to make an impact on Martha’s Vineyard for decades to come.

MV SHARKS ANNOUNCE NEW OPERATING PLAN

To all who follow the Sharks it’s obvious the team is in the midst of change. Conclusions are being drawn without the benefit of facts and some are losing sight of what is most important – the continued existence of the team. Change is occurring because those who have the benefit of comprehensive knowledge of the team’s circumstances recognized its future is in jeopardy. It’s that straightforward and transparent – no finger-pointing needed in any direction.

The Sharks are here not because of one or five, or ten, people; rather, the team is here because of the incredible dedication and teamwork of scores of players, coaches, volunteers, interns, staff, fans, host families, shareholders, donors, and sponsors.

Championships and winning seasons are unquestionably important, however assuring future generations have the same opportunities to watch great collegiate baseball and hoist trophies is equally if not more important. The MV Sharks should be here for generations — an island institution – and we are determined to meet this objective. The island community can divide and fail (i.e., the Sharks go out of business) or we can rally around the team and insure it is here for years to come.

With this objective in mind below we are pleased to share an outline of the team’s direction, which lays the foundation for the team’s long-term success:

  • The Sharks will be run by two operating groups; (a) baseball operations; and (b) business operations.
  • Kyle Fiore has been named team’s Director of Baseball Operations and Player/Personnel director. Kyle will be working with our new head coach, Frank Leoni, on all “on-field” matters. Most importantly they will develop our annual roster and work with our Host Family Coordinator, Jessica Burnham, to insure our players have the best experience possible; and that we have a championship caliber team season after season.
  • Nelson Giannakopoulos has been named Director of Business Operations. Nelson has been with the team since its early days and understands the off-field aspects of the team better than anyone. His charge is to coordinate our incredible volunteers, interns, and staff, to create the best possible game experience for our fans.
  • We expect to open the Shark’s first retail store in May of next year. The store will sell Sharks merchandise and serve as an off-site ticket office. We will also have player appearances and Sharky the Mascot to welcome customers.
  • We hope to add more stadium seating which will significantly enhance fan experience. There are many other improvements to the Shark Tank we hope to make and we will be prioritizing those in the days and weeks to come.
  • We will be working with knowledgeable baseball people outside the organization who can show us how other successful teams all over the country run their operations. We will take the best of what we discover and incorporate it into our operation.
  • We will be overhauling our marketing program.
  • We will be instituting a special ticket pricing plan for year-round islanders.

Naturally, achieving our objectives will require a very significant financial commitment. In the days ahead we will develop a plan to fund the team for the short and long term. We are confident the team will present a compelling business plan to potential investors, donors, and sponsors. Beyond money, among other things, we need an army of volunteers, more Host Families, and a dedicated and loyal local fan base attending every game. To better open the lines of communications we created an email account, fanmail@mvsharks.com. The Sharks encourage you to email suggestions, ask questions, or offer to be a volunteer and/or host family.

Rest assured we have an unwavering commitment to achieve our objective of having the Sharks become an island institution. Our genuine thanks to all who helped get the team started – let’s finish what we started and assure the Sharks are here for generations to come.

SHARKS HIRE NEW COACH FOR 2015 SEASON

The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks of the FCBL are excited to announce the hiring of Frank Leoni as their head coach for the 2015 season.  Team board member Scott Lively commented, “We are thrilled to bring Frank back to his New England roots. He has a proven record over more than two-decades as a college coach and we are confident he will help the Sharks improve as a team, both on and off the field.”

“I am extremely excited and honored to be the next head coach of the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks.  I want to thank the team’s board for this incredible opportunity. “ Leoni went on to say, “The FCBL continues to build its reputation as one of the finest summer collegiate baseball leagues.  College coaches not only want to send their players to play in a great league, but they also want them to have an overall positive summer experience.  I can’t think of a better place than Martha’s Vineyard to accomplish both”

“Our goals will include developing our players, winning an FCBL championship and being great members of the Vineyard community.”

Leoni brings twenty-two years of head coaching experience to the Sharks. He is currently the head coach at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, where he was hired in 2012 to start the baseball program from scratch. Prior to Marymount Leoni was the head coach at William & Mary. With the Tribe, Leoni posted 196 wins in seven seasons and was the fastest coach to reach 100 victories in program history.

Leoni took the helm at his alma mater, URI, in September of 1992 as the youngest D-I head coach in the nation, inheriting a program that went 8-25-1 the year before and was set for elimination. He turned the program around and won 266 games during his time in Kingston, which at the time were the most in school history.

Under Leoni, the Rams won the 2004 and 2005 Atlantic 10 regular season championships and the 2005 A-10 conference championship to lead URI to its only NCAA postseason berth in program history. He was named the A-10 Coach of the Year in 2003 and 2004 and the New England Coach of the Year in 2004. He was named to the Rhode Island Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2010.

A total of twenty-seven players Leoni has recruited or coached at Rhode Island and William & Mary have been either drafted or signed free agent contracts to play professionally. Six of his former assistants have gone on to successful head coaching careers, including John LaRose at Johnson & Wales, Jim Foster at URI (current assistant at Boston College), Raphael Cerrato at URI ,  Jad Prachniak at the helm of the 2012 Division II National Champions West Chester University, Adam Taylor at Franklin & Marshall and Jaime Pinzino at William & Mary (current assistant at the University of Oklahoma).

Leoni graduated from Rhode Island with a B.S. in accounting in 1990 and earned his master’s degree in Business Administration from URI in 2003. He and his wife Michelle have four children, Ryan (15), Karsen (13), Nathan (13) and Casey (10).

Matt Quintana Named to the 2014 Perfect Game Summer Collegiate All-American team by Perfect Game

http://www.perfectgame.org/articles/View.aspx?article=10483

Sharks ace of the pitching staff, Matt Quintana, made 3rd team summer All American by Perfect Game. That includes every league…Cape Cod, North Woods, Alaskan, etc. There are 7 pitchers on each of the three teams. Quintana was one of 21 pitchers selected from all the summer leagues in the entire U.S.!  Sharks starting shortstop, Will Toffey, was an honorable mention.

Quintana or “Q” had an ERA of 1.29 that lead the FCBL.  He pitched 56 innings, allowing only 37 hits, 6 walks and lead the FCBL with 65 Ks. He lead the league with a .181 BAA (batting average against) and had a miniscule 0.77 WHIP, again leading the FCBL. He won his only game pitched in the playoffs with an impeccable 1.09 ERA. Quintana pitched in 10 games during the baseball season, giving up 2 runs in two of the 10 games and 1 run or less in the other 8 games.

Off the field “Q” helped run the Sharks baseball summer camps teaching kids how to pitch…hopefully they listened. All the kids flat out loved him.

If the Sharks won one of the two games against the Bravehearts in the championship series, “Q” was set to pitch the last game of the year.

Bravehearts defeat Sharks to claim 2014 FCBL title

The Worcester Bravehearts defeated the Martha’s Vineyard Shark 1-0 to claim the 2014 FCBL championship. In a game where the number of errors (6) almost surpassed the total number of hits (7), pitching was the focal point. Max Slade (UConn) took the loss for the Sharks, while Josh Desai (Suffolk) picked up the win after pitching a shutout with Sean Gustin (Holy Cross) coming in for the save. With the win, Worcester claimed their first FCBL title in their first year in the league.

Both teams struggled to get any runners across the board. Neither were really able to string together enough hits to score. However, Worcester scored their only one in the 5th inning. It was an untimely Sharks error that allowed the run to score and put Worcester up 1-0. Martha’s Vineyard was unable to muster a hit for the rest of the game and was forced to settle for leaguer runner-up following their 2013 FCBL championship.

The Sharks organization would like to thank all of the players, coaches, and families for their contribution to our summer success. The team would not be as successful without the work of all the employees and interns at the SharkTank. We hope to see you back next summer to watch the Sharks try for another FCBL Championship!

See the box score at: http://mvsharks.bbstats.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=231806


Written by Sharks intern Alex Berman, Wellesley College ’16Host Family - Join A Championship Team

Bravehearts take down Sharks in game 1 of the Championship series

The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks were unable to muster much offense and were defeated by the Worcester Bravehearts 5-2 in game 1 of the best of 3 championship series. Tyrone Miller (St. Leo) pitched a solid game for the Bravehearts after going 6 innings and allowing just the 2 runs. Soren Hanson (Colby) took the loss for the Sharks after allowing 5 runs in 5 innings of work. With the win, Worcester moves within 1 win of the FCBL 2014 title.

Both teams struggled to get any offense going in the early part of the game. It was not until the 5th innings that either team was able to get on the board. Worcester exploded for 5 runs in the inning topped off by a Andy Lack (SE Missouri St.) 3-run homer. Martha’s Vineyard looked like it would rally back with a promising 2-run 7th inning. Jon Testani (UConn) singled in Jon Mayer (Bucknell) and Brendan Cox (Mercyhurst) knocked in Steve Buckley (WNEU). However, the Sharks were unable to muster any more runs and took the loss at a final score of 5-2.

Martha’s Vineyard takes a day off until they head up to Worcester on Thursday (8/14) for game 2 of the series. The if necessary game would take place on Friday (8/15) @ Worcester.

See the box score at: http://mvsharks.bbstats.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=231688


 All games this playoff season will be @ 7:00 PM.

Written by Sharks intern Alex Berman, Wellesley College ’16Host Family - Join A Championship Team

Sharks Sweep the Titans to Advance to Championship Round

The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks defeated the visiting Torrington Titans 7-3 to advance to the championship series of the FCBL for the second year in a row against the #1 seed in the playoffs the Worcester Bravehearts. Nick Fuller (UMass Dartmouth) picked up the win on the night, after allowing just one hit and one run through six innings while striking out none. Following the game, Fuller was offered a contract with the Miami Marlins. Congratulations!

The Sharks started their scoring off in the top of the 2nd on a mixture of hits and errors by the Titans. The scoring began with a 2-run single from Jack Roberts (Williams). Jon Testani (UConn) then scored from third on a wild pitch. Brendan Cox (Mercyhurst) knocked in a run on a ground ball to third baseman. Brian Campbell (Stonehill) brought home a run on an error by the shortstop and while Will Toffey (Vanderbilt) topped the scoring on a two-run error by the pitcher who threw away an easy out at first base. Luke Bonfield (Arkansas) finished off the Sharks scoring in the sixth with an RBI single that put the Sharks runs at seven for the night. The Titans could not generate enough offense to get themselves back into the game.

Martha’s Vineyard advances to the championship series against the Worcester Bravehearts, which begins tonight, Tuesday (8/12) @ the Shark Tank at 7:00 PM. Soren Hanson (Colby College) will take the mound for the Sharks. This will be the last Sharks game at the Shark Tank this baseball season. The series will head off-Island to Worcester on Thursday (8/14) and, if necessary, on Friday (8/15). This is the second year in a row that the Sharks have made it to the championship round; last year they swept the Nashua Silver Knights in two games. The Sharks have played the Bravehearts six times this season, winning all six and are looking to make it eight before the end of this week.

Player of the Game: Jack Roberts, Williams

Pitcher of the Game: Nick Fuller, UMass Dartmouth

See the box score at: http://mvsharks.bbstats.pointstreak.com/flash/index.html?gameid=231606

 All games this baseball season will be @ 7:00 PM.

Written by Sharks intern Alex Berman, Wellesley College ’16

CHAMPIONSHIP rOUND 2014