Saturday, January 3, 2015

Franklin Annual Report 2014: Recreation Department

Continuing our reading of the 2014 Annual Report, we come to the Recreation Department.

The Recreation Department is located at 150 Emmons Street. The Recreation Department offers Franklin and Medway residents a variety of programs and events for youths and adults as well as coordination of youth sports organizations field use and coordination of maintenance at athletic fields. The department operates and schedules activities for Chilson Beach at Beaver Pond, Fletcher Field, Dennis Pisani Field (formally Theron Metcalf), Henry “Ski” Faenza Tot Lot (Nason Street Tot Lot), King Street Memorial Field, Dacey Community Field, and Meadowlark Lane Athletic Fields. The department is also responsible for scheduling the use of all school athletic fields during the summer, when school is not in session. Our department works closely with the various town youth sports organizations and Athletic Director Brad Sidwell to schedule all youth sports activities around the high school team practices and games.

Chilson Beach

This year, Chilson Beach was a busy place with over 3000 visitors utilizing the many functions of the pond. Canoeing, kayaking, swimming, fishing, and hiking were some of the activities available at Chilson Beach. We continue to operate soccer, field hockey, football, boy’s lacrosse and cross country running on and around the turf field. The turf field was used for NFL Flag football, Pop Warner football, soccer, and lacrosse, as well as yoga for senior citizens, tai chi, boot camp, and many other recreational activities. A portable recycled plastic walkway was installed for handicap accessibility to the water and playground area. The Franklin High School soccer, lacrosse and field hockey programs play all of their home games on the turf field as well.

Summer Playground Program

An eight week playground program was held at King Street Memorial Field & Medway’s Choate Park from June 23-August 15, 2014. The program hours were Monday-Friday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm daily. Activities included: organized games, arts and crafts, water activities, sports, and weekly visitors. The themed weeks featured camp shirt tie dye on Tuesdays, field trips on Wednesdays, a giant slip and slide every Thursday, and Pizza day Fridays. The program grew this summer to over 1,000 registrants. The Franklin Summer Playground Program Director this year was Kaitlyn Williamson. The Franklin Summer Playground Program staff included: Paul, Allison and Tom O’Donoghue, Nicole Williamson, Dan Kohutanycz, Amy Trottier, Erik and Jakob Herlitz, Nicole Ellin, Emily Allard, Brendan Kuzio, Nicholas DePedro, Aiden Gilbert, Jacob Davis, Erin Connelly, Kyle Collins, Kelly Dubowskiand Dominic Girdini.

The Medway Summer Playground Program Director was Marybeth Bryne. Her staff included: Tyler Cummings, John Geromini, Alec Marshall, and Ryan

Youth Basketball Program

The Youth Basketball program continues to grow and now involves over 1,178 children, 130 teams, 202 coaches, and utilizes every school gymnasium in town. The Recreation department expanded its basketball program to include High School aged kids looking to continue playing. This intramural program gives kids in grades 9-12 a chance to continue playing pick up basketball on Saturday nights. The program utilizes school gyms at Parmenter, Davis Thayer, Horace Mann Middle School, Remington Elementary, J.F. Kennedy School, Keller Sullivan Middle School, and Franklin High School auxiliary gym. This year the youth basketball program ran from November 9th-March 1st on Saturdays. The FYBL is divided into ten divisions: Kindergarten (co-ed), 1st & 2nd Grade Boys, 1st & 2nd Grade Girls, 3rd & 4th Grade Boys, 3rd & 4th Grade Girls, 5th & 6th Grade Boys & 5th & 6th Grade Girls, 7th & 8th Grade Boys, 7th & 8th Grade Girls and High School Intramural division.

This year, our coordinators were Dave Angermeier 3rd & 4th Boys, Bob Pingeton 3rd & 4th Girls, Ryan Jette 5th & 6th Girls, Tim Saunders 5th & 6th Boys, Mike Canesi 7th & 8th Girls, Mark Eccher and Steve Skaza 7th & 8th Boys, and Mike Vinson High School Intramural League. It is because of these individuals and the volunteer coaches, that this program is a success. The K-4th grade leagues are set up as a non-competitive learning experience for the children with the focus on fundamental basketball skills. Grades 5th-8th grade basketball leagues start to teach the kids different rules, zone defense, pressing, and traits of competitive basketball. Ten players are drafted to each team and games are played weekly on Saturdays. Participation trophies are awarded to all Kindergarten through 4th grade players, and a “break-up” pizza party is held for all K-2nd grade players after the final game of the season.

Pee Wee Baseball

The Pee Wee Baseball program was created in 1999 by Director, Ryan Jette. Since then, the program has grown from 26 kids to 200 kids annually. Taking his lifelong baseball coaching experience coupled with past employment with Major League Baseball International, Ryan created a beginners baseball program that teaches kids the proper techniques of hitting, fielding, base running and throwing. This fun league features 4 practice sessions and 8 controlled games. The use of tees, soft bats and spongy balls make this program a safe and enjoyable start children ages 4-6 years old. Head Instructors Mike Massuer and Paul O’Donoghue will be on site to run the drills, organize the scrimmages, and support the volunteer
coaching staff.

Kid Care Babysitting

The Recreation Department continues to offer this 6-hour training program for kids ages 11-16 years old. Kelley Brooks teaches kids the business of babysitting while coordinating lectures on childcare, fire and police safety, nutrition, and diapering. Classes were offered monthly throughout the year and over 100 kids were introduced to the business of babysitting.

NFL Flag Football

The Recreation Department teamed up with the NFL to bring this non-contact flag football league to kids aged 6-14 years old. 395 kids signed up to play each Tuesday & Thursday evening at the Beaver Pond Turf Field. Reversible NFL game jerseys, playbooks, belt/flag setup and access to the NFL Kids website gives kids the opportunity to follow their favorite player or team. Players learned the fundamentals of throwing, catching, running and teamwork. Punt, pass, and kick competition will allow kids to showcase their skills in a competition against area youths.

new floating bridge at DelCarte Recreation (off Pleasent St)
new floating bridge at DelCarte Recreation (off Pleasent St)

Tennis Program

The youth tennis instructional program was offered at the Choate Park Courts in Medway. The two six-week program was under the supervision of Wesley Esthimer and John Hardesty. Classes were run at the Choate Park Tennis Courts in Medway Tuesday evenings through Thursday evenings for all skill levels. Around 50 children and adults participated in our tennis program.

Golf Lessons

The Recreation Department expanded the golf lessons offered into the summer months, by offering a full or half day camp in the summer. The Recreation Department, in conjunction with Golf Professional, Mark Copithorne, offered Adult and Junior Golf instruction at the New England Country Club in South Bellingham. The lessons covered all aspects of the game of golf (putting, chipping, bunkers, irons, and woods). Registrants met one day a week for 6 weeks to practice their skills. Lessons were offered during the summer and fall season for over 340 residents attending. Express 2 day lessons were offered over April Vacation. Participants enjoyed playing the course following the six-week lesson to see what they learned.

Girls Lacrosse

The Recreation Department has been running the Girls lacrosse program since 2005. The program has grown from 28 girls to over 280 girls. Our teams participate in the Massachusetts Bay Girls Lacrosse League. There were four teams at the 1st-2nd grade division which was coached by Mike Ryan, Greg Tracey, Kim Carney, Beth Peterson, Renee Tolonen, Raquel Griffin, Mike Grasso and Rich Norton. There were five teams at the 3rd & 4th Grade division, which were coached by Ryan Jette, Tom O’Rourke, Mark Goguen, Barry Regan, Mike Grasso, Kevin O’Connor, Michelle Hess, Matt Hawkins and Nicole Ellin. There were three teams at the 5th & 6th Grade level, which was coached by Mark Goguen, Paul DeStefano, Charlie Clark, Kinjal Patel, Kim Carney and Ted Mazukina . And three teams at the 7th & 8th Grade level, which were coached by Roger Jette, John Jette, Todd MacCallum, Paul DeStefano, Chris Schmidt, Lindsey Baryluk and plenty of High School Players . All levels had successful seasons and played in 8 regular season games. Franklin Girls Lacrosse is still the largest girls’ lacrosse program in the state of Massachusetts.

ArtVenture Afterschool Studios

After being without an art program for nearly two years, the Recreation Department recently hired a new art instructor, Anne Marie Tracey in March. 80 children from Pre-k to Middle School have signed up to take one of the many diverse art programs. ArtVenture Afterschool Studio, Artventure Preschool Studios, Art Inspired by Cake Bar, and Art Summer Camp. All art programs are held at the Recreation Department.

Preschool Programs

Our Preschool classes are held in the mornings from 9:00am to 11:30am. The Recreation Department has four certified preschool instructors on staff. Colleen Ahearn and Gretchen McAuley are our science instructors. Approximately 200 children sign up for the year round preschool science programs. Little Engineers, Mad Scientist, The Amazing Body, Travel Through Space, Science for Seedlings, and the Science, Engineering and Math Camps just to name a few. The science classes are taught once a week for seven weeks. Kelley Brooks and Nicole Nesbit are our other two certified preschool instructors. Kelley and Nicole teach our First Friends programs; Exploration Station, First Friends, First Friends Lunch Bunch and More Fun with Friends. They hold class’s everyday, Monday through Friday and yearly roughly 400 children sign up to take their programs.

Girls Field Hockey

Franklin Recreation offers girls youth field hockey in many formats throughout the year. The fall (August-October) are usually the months that the field hockey leagues run (K-2 grade in house, 3-8 grade travel league). School vacations (Feb-Apr), Summer (Jun-Aug) are usually the times Lisa Cropper runs camps and introductory clinics. We work closely with the FHS program Head Coach Lisa Cropper to coordinate clinics, field usage, games. The K-2 division, an in house program features practice sessions and some in house small sided games. The 3rd & 4th grade team
will play some scrimmages/games against area teams (probably 4-6 games). The 5th & 6th and the 7th & 8th grade teams will play in the Walpole League with 8 games vs. surrounding towns. 150 girls comprise eight teams for the fall Field Hockey League.

NHL Street Hockey

This summer, our street hockey program was better than ever with over 100 kids and 8 NHL teams represented. We hold a skills clinic for the first four sessions to evaluate the players. Then, we will break them up into equal teams so that games will be fair and fun for all. Teams play twice a week, Monday and Wednesday’s. Tom Gately and David Marchand are the league coordinators and the reason why this program continues to grow. Our Street Hockey program participates at Fletcher Field.

Respectfully submitted,

Ryan Jette
Director of Recreation

new tot lot section at Fletcher Field
new tot lot section at Fletcher Field

For additional information on the Recreation Dept you can visit their page on the official Franklin website


The full annual report can be obtained from the Town Clerk's office (hard copy) or viewed and/or downloaded from the Franklin website here

Annual reports of prior years can also be found online at

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