TOWAMENCIN >> The North Penn baseball team never got a chance to turn a double play this year with the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling the spring high school sports season.
But the Knights have still found a way to turn two in support of their community, raising money to buy food from All About Catering to provide meals for area police departments.
“All About Catering has been super supportive with us and we know that they’re getting no business right now,” said North Penn head coach Kevin Manero Tuesday as the Knights dropped off food to the Towamencin Police Department. “So we wanted to basically find a way to support them and support the people in our community that are saving everybody and making everything go and putting their lives in danger and we thought that was a great combination of getting them to deliver lunch to the police stations.
“And we’re just glad we can do something here when we’re not on the baseball field.”
Manero said the idea for the collection came from Joe Picozzi, an assistant on the North Penn JV team. Picozzi took inspiration from seeing several instances of people providing support for those working at the front lines of the pandemic. Manero said the team had so far raised more than $1,400. Donations to support the meal drive can be sent to North Penn baseball’s Venmo account (venmo.com/NpKnightsBaseball).
“I’ve seen some things online about different ways to serve the community and I saw that this one area had been giving food to the hospitals and we had done that in my neighborhood actually and I mentioned to Kevin about that effort,” Picozzi said. “And we took that and brought it to the baseball team and thought that we would extend it out to other first responders. I like the police department, so I thought that was a great extension of what we had already done.
“And Coach Manero is the kind of guy he just doesn’t want to build great baseball players he wants to build better people. And it’s not just what we get, it’s what we give is what really is the definition of the character we have. And he’s the leader of that.”
Manero, Picozzi and a few North Penn players were on hand on a rainy Tuesday morning to deliver the food to Towamencin PD before heading off to drop off lunch to the Hatfield Township Police Department. Wednesday, the Knights are scheduled to deliver food to both the Upper Gwynedd and North Wales police.
“It’s great to we can help people out and it’s also great that there’s some way for us to be able to be productive in the community while we’re not in the field,” Manero said. “Towamencin police are just an awesome organization, Hatfield police — awesome. Other communities — Upper Gwynedd, North Wales, Montgomery that we’re trying to get out to in the next couple days and support everybody because they’re putting their lives on the line and we’re just sitting and trying to find ways to be productive but they’re productive every day.”
Along with feeding area police, the Knights provided a helping hand to All About Catering — a catering company located on Bustard Road in Worcester Township owned by NP baseball alum Steven Vincent — which Manero said has “just been incredibly supportive of us of every year.”
North Penn’s regular season was set to begin March 20 but the pandemic put a hold on that with the PIAA finally announcing the cancellation of spring sports and its remaining winter championships April 9. Monday the Knights would have hosted Pennridge while Wednesday was supposed to be an away contest against defending state Class 6A champ Souderton.
Manero is keeping in contact with the team and remains optimistic the Knights will have a chance at some point in the next few months to get on the field.
“We try to communicate, we try to do some things — just virtually,” Manero said. “Have the guys send me videos, just communicate, check in with people, stuff like that. It stinks not being on a baseball field but we try to do everything we can to stay in touch and keep guys positive and excited. Hopefully at some point we can get out there this summer. Until then we just kind of go one day at a time.”