By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
NORTH PORT — The summertime is an opportunity for area teams to build chemistry away from the field of play.
Some teams go to camps, others volunteer.
North Port’s baseball team is taking volunteering to another level this summer, as they attempt to complete 1,000 service hours.
“I think at first they were kind of shocked that we were going to do 1,000 hours,” coach Dan Pavlue said. “Then I explained some of the activities and people we’ll be helping out, and they’ve really warmed up to the idea. They’ve taken to it well, and so far they’ve done an excellent job.”
Activities the Bobcats will participate in throughout the summer span from feeding the homeless to cleaning up litter in various areas of North Port. They’ll also assist at local animal shelters, visit nursing homes and coach and mentor youth baseball leagues.
“Litter is something we contribute to every now and then,” soon-to-be senior Dominic LeFever said. “So by cleaning it up, it’s nice to help out.”
The Bobcats aren’t strangers to volunteering. Throughout the school year, they’ll also read to elementary students from around North Port.
Players from the team jumped on board thanks to leadership from players like LeFever and Charlie Davidson.
“The community has given us so much,” Davidson said. “Giving back this 1,000 hours is the least we can do for them.”
It will take 20-30 hours per player and coach for them to reach 1,000 hours, but according to Pavlue, players have already signed up for 40-50 hours.
The players who do the extra hours will benefit from it when they apply for scholarships, but Pavlue hopes they’ll take much more than that way from the experience.
“I think No. 1 most important thing is that our team will hopefully get the understanding of how lucky they are to play the game,” Pavlue said. “On top of that it’s also an opportunity for us to learn more about each other and work on teamwork.”
They’ll have plenty of time this summer to work on that teamwork. One thousand hours, to be exact.