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Lemont Rockers Named NFCA’s Travel Ball Coaching Staff of the Year for 2008

 Head coaches Gary Lagesse and Mike Batts along with assistant coaches Al Lierman, Pat Rzegoski and Dan Bryant teamed to lead the Lemont Rockers 18U DD (Illinois) team to the 18A ASA National Championship. 

The Rockers opened the double-elimination 18A national tournament with a 2-0 victory over the Orange County Dynasty. Following that 2 p.m. game, Team Manager Jim (DiDi) DiGregorio passed away while en route to a team meal. 

Back at the hotel, the team voted to stay and finish out the tournament, despite the death of their coach. The Rockers returned to the field at 8 p.m. that night and proceeded to win an additional seven games as they captured the 2008 USA/ASA Girls 18A Fastpitch National Championship. 

“Although the passing of DiDi was such an enormous loss to the athletes, coaches and the Rockers program, some absolutely beautiful things took place after his death, from opposing teams,” said Joe Pavone, the Rockers Organization President, succeeding his friend DiDi. “Every team that the Rockers played thereafter either expressed their heartfelt condolences, joined them in prayer after the game or in the case of Eastside Elite, presented our athletes with flowers.”