Rapids Name John Rizzo as Next Field Manager
Watertown, NY - The Watertown Rapids have named John Rizzo as the team’s next Field Manager. Rizzo is currently an Assistant Coach at Ithaca College.
Rizzo, a native of Auburn, NY played four seasons at Keuka College. During his time at Keuka, Rizzo was named Rookie of the Year, Team MVP, 1st Team All-Conference, and 3rd Team All-Region according to D3 Baseball and the American Baseball Coaches Association. Playing and coaching under Rick Ferchen at Keuka, Rizzo has applied a lot of what he learned to his own coaching style. Ferchen has coached college baseball for 36 years and has won two NEAC Coach of the Year awards since 2014. "I was lucky enough to play under a decorated coach, Rick Ferchen. During my four years I saw how Ferchen ran his program like an absolute professional,” said Rizzo.
Most recently, Rizzo was an Assistant Coach for Cayuga Community College. While at Cayuga Community College, Rizzo had the opportunity to coach under TJ Gamba, a former player in the Cleveland Indians organization and coach in the Miami Marlins organization. Rizzo feels his playing and coaching experience will assist him to successfully lead the Rapids. “TJ Gamba gave me my first assistant coaching position at Cayuga Community College. He is an excellent coach who took his many years of professional experience as a player and coach and brought it to the college game. It's amazing what I could learn in one game just standing next to him in the dugout. These men and members of their staff, including Marty Olmstead and Marc DelPiano have not only taught me a lot about the game, but have also made strong efforts to help further my coaching career and get me to the position I am in today. Now I am fortunate enough to be assisting at Ithaca College and learning under a young, bright mind in David Valesente."
The Rapids have aimed for a smooth transition during a critical time in the recruiting process for the 2020 season. “We’re really excited to bring John on board and look forward to the energy he will bring to our club,” Rapids’ General Manager Brandon Noble said. “We’ve been fortunate with great coaches over the first two seasons and have high expectations on and off the field. We were impressed with John’s experience and have continued to be impressed with his work ethic since joining our team.”
Rizzo has begun recruiting and building his roster for next summer with the goal of bringing quality baseball players and quality young men to represent Watertown. "You never lose the will to win. We are looking for players that are capable of winning baseball games and are difference makers on the field. Whether you are recruiting for college or the PGCBL, the first thing you look for is character and someone that meets the high standards of the Rapids organization. If we feel their character fits the culture being built in Watertown and they can make a difference on the diamond, we want those guys on our team. Then it is my job to develop the players and put the team in a position to win every night,” said Rizzo.
The Rapids, who made the playoffs in the team’s inaugural season, are looking to return to the playoffs after missing them this past summer. The PGCBL will return to a 13 team league with the return of Jamestown in 2020. Division format, along with league rule changes and other details will be announced as the season gets closer.
The Rapids are currently seeking host families for the 2020 season. Please follow the link for more information, https://www.watertown-rapids.com/host-family.