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Reds Society joins as sponsor of hockey finals
Pete Fontaine
THANKS: Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society board member Rick Scherza (third, left) gets a thank you handshake from Tom Mezzanotte, executive director of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League, for sponsoring Wednesday’s State Hockey Championship Press Conference breakfast at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick. Taking part in the festivities were: RIIL Hockey Director George Egan, Drew Omicioli of Squad Locker, Reds President Buster Clegg and board member Tom McDonough.

The Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society has fulfilled is main mission to restore and preserve the history of the former hockey franchise, but the society’s board of directors wasn’t about to close up shop. The society has been looking for more ways to promote ice hockey in the state and it was announced this week, that the Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society will be a major sponsor of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League’s 2013 state hockey championships that begin this weekend at Brown University’s Meehan Auditorium.

The society’s sponsorship was highlighted yesterday during the RIIL’s hockey playoff breakfast at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick.

“The Rhode Island Interscholastic League is honored to have the Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society as a sponsor for the 2013 Boys and Girls Hockey Championships,” said RIIIL Executive Director Tom Mezzanotte. “We are very fortunate to have the Reds Society to bring the history and traditions of the past to the players of today and tomorrow.”

Rick Scherza, a member of the Reds Board of Directors and the Society’s principal liaison to the RIIL, said: “The opportunity to help both the league’s high school boys’ and girls’ hockey program has become an important focus for us the past two seasons.”

Scherza, whose famed father Chuck Scherza skated 11 seasons with the Reds before enjoying success in the NHL with the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers, is the former superintendent of schools in Cranston, a city in which he and his father live.

The Society’s state tournament sponsorship marks the second such step the Reds Heritage Society has taken in regards to youth hockey. In 2011 and 2012 the Reds Heritage Society sponsored the first-ever “Unsung Hero” Awards and will do so again this weekend during the championship finals at Brown. On Saturday night, Rick Scherza, Reds Society President Buster Clegg and other officials will present three girls and three boys with those awards.

“Besides developing really good players who are devoted to the sport, high school hockey fosters values of team play, sportsmanship and discipline – all important lessons in life,” said Clegg. “We are indeed honored to participate in these Interscholastic League programs.”

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