Patriots wide receiver coach Chad O’Shea throws out first pitch with retired Foxborough Police Chief Ed O’Leary to celebrate the start of the 2017 FYBSA season.
On Saturday, April 22, the Foxborough Youth Baseball & Softball Association (FYBSA) celebrated opening day for the 2017 season and recognized two town residents as its guests of honor as part of the festivities.
Chad O’Shea, wide receiver coach for the New England Patriots, and Ed O’Leary, retired Foxborough Police Chief, were each honored by the FYBSA and invited to participate in the parade and throw out ceremonial first pitches. O’Shea, who has served on Bill Belichick’s Patriots coaching staff since 2009, won his second Super Bowl championship with the Patriots in three seasons this past February and O’Leary, who served in the Foxborough Police Department for 39 years, retired this past fall.
“It was a great honor tothrow out the first pitch and a nice way to recognize the accomplishments of our team in Super Bowl LI,” O’Shea said. “It was also really neat to share this moment with Chief O’Leary because he’s someone I have always had a lot of respect for and know what he’s done for the community over the years.”
A veteran coach of 14 NFL seasons, O’Shea has regularly traded the sidelines for the dugout over the past few years to coach his children in the FYBSA.
“My children have been involved in the Foxborough sports programs for several years now and I’ve always thought very highly of the program,” O’Shea said.
“It’s a pretty unique situation this year because [Patriots defensive line coach] Brendan Daly’s son is on the team, so we are coaching this group together,” O’Shea said. “We’re so excited to get started and get outside. It’s going to be a lot of fun and we’re teaching them the fundamentals of baseball.”
Prior to throwing out the first pitch, O’Shea shared with the assembled crowd of baseball and softball players the importance of being coachable and being great listeners and how those traits can lead to success.
“Whether it’s Tom Brady or Julian Edelman, every coachable player looks their coaches in the eyes and listens to them when they’re talking,” O’Shea said. “These baseball and softball coaches out here today are great and they’re here because they love the game and they want to be around you. So my challenge to you all this spring is to be the most coachable bunch of kids you can be.”
O’Shea also stressed that it’s not always going to be a great day on the field and it’s important to remain supportive of your teammates and never give up, no matter how daunting the task may be – like being down 25 points in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LI.
“Think of it like this,” O’Shea instructed the crowd. “I’m not standing here today to throw out the first pitch if those players that I coached in the Super Bowl gave up when we were down 25 points in the fourth quarter. They didn’t give up and it wasn’t great along the way in the game. I can promise you you’re not going to always have the best day, but as long as you keep committed and don’t give up, you’re going to have a lot of fun out here.”
Two days prior to its MIAA Division 2 South Sectional Finals game vs. Westwood, the Foxborough High School varsity girls basketball team visited Gillette Stadium as special guests of the Kraft family.
The Lady Warriors spent some time on the game field, where they were surprised with a good luck message from the Kraft family displayed on the stadium’s video boards.
“Being on the field and seeing the ‘Good Luck’ message from the Kraft family was incredible,” said head coach Lisa Downs. “It’s pretty incredible to have their support and be here where the New England Patriots practice and play and spend so many hours every season. It’s a really cool experience and really special for these girls.”
After photos on the field, the team headed inside to the Optum Field Lounge to breakdown film of their next opponent. The girls enjoyed light snacks while they watched Westwood’s 36-32 win over Nauset in the Sectional Quarterfinals on the Optum Field Lounge’s 9-foot-by-32-foot high resolution media wall.
“We’re usually watching film in a classroom, so this is much better,” said Downs. “This is a nice way for the girls to enjoy the moment and do something special. We are thankful for the opportunity.”
Downs added she was excited to have her team visit Gillette Stadium because of its “championship atmosphere.”
“It’s a winning environment and I always tell the girls that winning is contagious,” Downs said. “I’m hoping our girls can grab a little bit of that championship atmosphere and take it with them on Saturday.”
The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) today announced family friendly programs will be offered by the agency throughout the state during next week’s traditional school vacation week. Additionally, the agency will continue to provide its regularly scheduled programming, which includes daily public skating and traditional winter activities, during next week’s school vacation.
“School vacation week serves as an excellent opportunity for people of all ages to get outside and enjoy the natural world that surrounds us,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “I encourage residents and families to explore the Commonwealth’s many environmental, cultural, and recreational resources.”
Some of the many school vacation programs offered by DCR include guided hikes, wildlife observation opportunities, crafting activities, history lessons, campfires, games, stories, and ice skating.
“By providing excellent programming during February vacation and throughout the winter months, the Department of Conservation and Recreation seeks to foster a true love of nature within today’s youth,” said DCR Commissioner Leo Roy. “The Massachusetts state parks system offers incredible opportunities for us all to get outside and incorporate a healthy and active lifestyle.”
A full list of activities and programming can be found on DCR’s website. In addition to the special vacation week programming, DCR will also continue to offer its normal recreational programs. Those activities include public skating at DCR’s eight managed rinks, cross country skiing at the Leo J Martin Ski Track in Weston, and adaptive programming that includes universally accessible hiking, skiing, skating, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
Due to the unpredictability of the weather, such as extreme low temperatures, the DCR asks that all members of the public call ahead to confirm that the scheduled program is able to take place. Proper outerwear, including coats, boots, hats, and gloves, is encouraged for all participants of outdoor programs to ensure an enjoyable and safe outing.
Enjoy daily activities while reliving some of the greatest moments in Patriots history.
The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon is offering daily activities for families to enjoy over February school vacation week, beginning on Monday, Feb. 20.
February School Vacation Schedule at The Hall at Patriot Place Presented by Raytheon:
Feb. 20 Magic Show with John Logan (noon – 2 p.m.) – Enjoy a magic show from team magician John Logan.
Feb. 21 Design Your Own Jersey – Young fans can enjoy the football-themed coloring station to design their own jerseys. The Hall will provide coloring pages and crayons for guests to use.
Feb. 22 Meet & Greet with Patriots Alumni Pete Brock (11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – Meet New England Patriots Alumni Pete Brock for a photo and autograph with the Patriots legendary offensive lineman.
Feb. 23 Hands On History (noon – 3 p.m.) – This unique event connects guests with artifacts from Patriots history not currently on display. The Hall Curator, Lily Kathryn-Ames will educate guests on the history behind the artifacts and allow guests to hold and take photos with them.
Feb. 24 Field Goal Kick Contest – Fans can test their skills at kicking field goals by trying to convert 23-yard and 45-yard field goals consecutively. Those who succeed will be entered to win a Stephen Gostkowski autographed football.
Feb. 25 Scavenger Hunt – Fans can test their Patriots knowledge during The Hall’s scavenger hunt. See who can be the first in the group to answer all the questions and find all of the artifacts that are part of The Hall exhibit galleries. Those who turn in their completed scavenger hunts at the box office will receive a prize.
Elsewhere around The Hall guests can enjoy “The Fabric of Football” exhibit located in the Grand Hall. The exhibit features more than 30 game-worn jerseys from quarterbacks throughout pro football history. For more information about the exhibit, visit www.thehallatpatriotplace.com/news-article/2313/a-new-exhibit-the-fabric-of-football.
Guests can also see game used artifacts from the Patriots Super Bowl LI championship season and learn more about artist/cartoonist Phil Bissell’s creation of the Pat Patriot logo.
The Hall is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Check www.thehallatpatriotplace.com for schedule changes and closings. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and active military with ID and $5 for children ages 5 to 12.