Canton, NY – Several NCAA D3 baseball teams will spend a culturally rich, economical Spring Break 2016 in Puerto Rico from March 5-13 participating in the Clemente Cup Baseball Tournament. Organizers are looking to finish filling out the 12-16 team field within the next several weeks.
"The Roberto Clemente Family and the Roberto Clemente Foundation are looking forward to welcoming coaches, players and fans to the island of Puerto Rico," said Luis R. Clemente, Roberto's son. "We are committed in providing a rich and enlightening cultural and baseball experience. Looking forward to seeing everyone in March 2016!"
SUNY Canton Head Baseball Coach Joe Carbone along with SUNY Canton Assistant Baseball Coach Victor Rivera-Collazo have been working with the Roberto Clemente Foundation, government officials and business leaders in Puerto Rico to organize the event, which will be held in Arecibo and Aguadilla. Those cities feature numerous world class baseball fields, resplendent tourist attractions, cultural opportunities, recruiting opportunities and the best baseball weather in the world. Organizers have negotiated arrangements for inexpensive hotel accommodations, restaurant meals and transportation. Use of the fields for daily practices and games will also be complimentary.
"We have several teams committed, and we are looking for additional teams to join us for the incredible inaugural experience of the Clemente Cup Tournament," said Coach Carbone. "It's been a priority of ours to keep the expenses as low or lower than what teams usually spend travelling to Florida or Arizona, and we've been able to do that."
Teams will play a minimum of nine games during the week. More games are available if desired. There are also plans for some JV level games to be played.
"SUNY Oneonta is choosing Puerto Rico in 2016 for our spring break trip because of the incredible experience we believe it will offer our baseball players," SUNY Oneonta Head Coach Ben Grimm said. "In staying with the Division III and SUNY Oneonta philosophy of looking to keep the student-athlete experience at the forefront, we believe this trip is exactly what we are looking for. The opportunity for our players to compete against quality programs, while also being immersed in a different culture, combined with the involvement of the Roberto Clemente Foundation, made the decision to go to Puerto Rico for our spring trip an easy one."
The tournament will be dedicated to Roberto Clemente's widow Vera Clemente for her more than 40 years of service to the Clemente Foundation. SUNY Canton's roster currently features three players from Puerto Rico, including Bobby Clemente, the grandson of the Pittsburgh Pirates legend.
"Through Coach Rivera's hard work in his native country, we've been able to arrange for a fantastic week of competition," Carbone said. "The wonderful people of Puerto Rico are incredibly welcoming and they are very much looking forward to hosting our NCAA teams to play a round robin tournament format of games. We expect the games to be well attended, well organized and highly competitive."
The tournament is expected to feature NCAA Division III schools from all over the United States.
"We are excited to expose the student-athletes in our program to a beautiful island and different culture while having the opportunity to compete against a group of talented D3 teams," Arcadia University Head Coach Ken Spangenberg said.
According to Coach Carbone, the tournament may become an annual opportunity for teams.
"Coach Rivera has a close relationship with the Clemente family," Carbone said. "They are very enthusiastic about the success of this endeavor, and they very much would like to see it grow into a yearly destination for teams throughout the United States."
Coaches and teams interested in learning more about participating in the Clemente Cup Spring Break 2016 Tournament should contact SUNY Canton Coach Joe Carbone at email@example.com or (315) 600-0752.
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About SUNY Canton
SUNY Canton is Northern New York's premier college for career-driven bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses, as well as 10 exclusively online bachelor's degrees. The college's 14 athletic teams compete as provisional members of the NCAA Division III and the USCAA.