Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 06-25-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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North Smithfield Blackstone and Woonsocket Edition Sports & Recreation valleybreeze.com @ JUNE 25-JULY 1, 2020 NORTH SMITHFIELD – After the opening week of the Gator's Pub Summer Volleyball League's season was in the books, the league's direc- tors, Deb and Jim McGee, took a quick peek at some of the emails they received from some of the players in the league. "And everything was excellent," said Deb. "A majority of the com- ments were, 'We are so happy that we're back out playing again.' Everything Jim and I heard was posi- tive, and hopefully it just continues that way for the rest of the season." Seventy-three teams in 10 divisions stepped into the sand to begin their respective seasons last week, and they did so by closely following social dis- tancing rules, as well as the page-long guidelines and requirements that the McGees emailed each team in the weeks leading to the season. "I had people say that they felt better with some of the provisions that we put out," Deb said. "I think because it was all out there, how we were going to do things, it gave some people a little bit more comfort. It wasn't just, 'OK, everybody just jump on the courts and do what you want.'" On Sunday, with 19 teams tak- ing center stage in their hour-long matches, it sure felt like the good ol' days on what was a beautiful night for volleyball. The parking lots were full again, the pub was hard at work serv- ing its customers, the action was close for most of the matches, and most of all, the fun was back. "It feels good to have something to do every week now, something to sort of look forward to," said North Smithfield resident David Thibault, who plays for the Block Party team in the Co-ed 'B' division. "It just brings a little normalcy back – you have some- thing to do, you get exercise, you play a game that you like to play, and you hang out with your friends here. You can just sort of escape for an hour." Thibault, who is originally from Maine and is in his third season in the league, shared the same fears that everyone in the league had back in March when the COVID-19 pandem- ic shut down sports on all levels. Was there going to be a volleyball season this summer on the North Smithfield courts? "I think everyone was worried that the whole summer, in general, was just going to be totally different from what a normal summer would be," Thibault added. "Not being able Bump, set, spike: Gator's Pub league is back in business Seventy-three adult volleyball teams finally begin seasons on popular N.S. sand courts By ERIC BENEVIDES Valley Breeze Sports Editor sports@valleybreeze.com BREEZE PHOTOS BY ERIC BENEVIDES Above, members of the ANYTHING FROM THE VOLLEY team, which captured the Sunday night Co-ed 'B' championship last summer, check out the competition as they get ready for their match on Sunday night at the Gator's Pub courts. The popular adult volleyball league kicked off its 30th season last week, with 73 teams in 10 divisions taking the courts. Right, DAVID THIBAULT of North Smithfield dives in the sand to dig out a spike during Block Party's Co-ed 'B' match against Kiss My Ace. See GATOR'S PUB, Page 10 Mother of Hope Camp 1589 Putnam Pike Chepachet, RI 02814 401-568-3580 June 29 - August 14 •Traditonal Camp Activities •Ages 5-12 •Weekly & Daily Options •Affordable Pricing •Special Discounts •Friendly Professional Staff •Secure Online Registration Call us for more information! Registration is now open! www.motherofhopecamp.com Come enjoy our 136 acres of woodlands Live - Learn - Grow Summer Breeze

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