West Boca Youth Baseball Club is planning a candlelight vigil to honor coach Nick

When the West Boca 9U All-Stars reached the semifinals of the Cal Ripken World Series last summer, it was a huge win for the program.

Nick Madaloni, who served as coach for the 9U team and president of the Boca Western Youth Baseball League, was instrumental in the success, noting at the time that they always wanted to hang a banner on the court fences.

“We went to the state championships knowing we’d never put a banner in our garden,” Maddaloni said at the time. “Now we can hang the 8U and 9U state championship banners and the southern regional pennant.”

Now, the league is in mourning as plans are underway to hang a banner on all the outer walls in honor of their beloved leader who died suddenly one day before his 39th birthday. He left behind his wife, Melody, and his 9-year-old son, Nico. The cause of his death was not announced.

The community has planned a candlelight vigil and memorial for Maddalone at 8 p.m. Friday at Stadium 11 at South County Regional Park, 11200 Park Access Road, in Boca Raton. visit Facebook league for weather updates.

Maddaloni was bigger than life on the pitch, his friends, fellow coaches and board members said. He was out of town at a family wedding in New Jersey, and when no one had heard of him, the family said they searched and later found out that he had died in his sleep in his hotel room.

“Nick used to talk a lot about Hunters and the mentality they need… A good catcher is [quarterback]said Andrew Bamond, who met Madalone in 2017 and has coached with him since with the travel team West Boca Panthers 9U that have made up most of the 9U All-Stars that have gone to the World Series. Bamond is also a board member of West Boca Youth Baseball.

“No team can go very far without one (Music),” Bamond said. “Nick was that. The catcher… to the Panthers and WBYB. Nick had a special relationship with his players, especially my son.”

Jennifer Thompson, the league’s former secretary, said Madalone played a vital role in revitalizing the West Boca Youth League. When he took office, the board saw their number grow from 170 players to nearly 500 players. They hosted three tournaments in the Cal Ripken District for the first time in league history.

“West Boca wanted to be Major League Baseball in Palm Beach County,” said Thompson, who joined the board in 2019. “He always wanted to make sure every kid had a place to call home to play baseball.”

Thompson said Madaloni and the board of directors have done a lot of starting a scholarship fund to help those who can’t afford the fees to return batting cages, buy fishing gear, new batting nets, refurbish concession stands, and have training clinics.

“Nick has been the front face in our league. He has always been very proud of the players, coaches and the board for what we are going to achieve season after season.” “We will really miss him. He was a standing man with a rough exterior, but deep down he was an ordinary man who took his role very seriously in this organization. On the field, he worked all the way, but off the field, he was joking and laughing with children and parents.”

a GoFundMe Page For the family and as of September 9, more than $83,000 has been raised.

“His death was so shocking, we couldn’t wrap our minds around him,” said Jane Angelin, a uniformed coordinator and volunteer. Her husband, Dom, is a facility manager and their sons have been in the league for 10 years. We’ve seen many presidents come and go. There was something different about Nick. His love for baseball and his dedication to the league and all players, whether new to the game or experienced, was contagious. His love for the game and his commitment to this league was immeasurable.”

Current league secretary Marlo Vogel has played three kids playing in the league, including the oldest, Jaden, 13, who asked Madalone to catch up on the inaugural field for the spring 2022 season. She said it meant the world to her family.

“Nick was very passionate about Boca’s youth western baseball; he devoted a lot of time to making sure the kids had a place to play baseball and have fun and learn at the same time,” Vogel said. “Because of his passion, the families from Parkland, East Boca, Delray and Boynton wanted to be in this league. He would get to the field before the sun came up and make sure the fields were in perfect condition so that every team could play, and no one was canceled because of the weather.” .. It was a pleasure to see this passion and I want to continue it for his sake.”

At the state championship, West Boca trailed 9-1 in the final inning before Conor Broadley hit a rules-charged singles match for a 10-9 win, earning him his first state title in the program’s history.

“Nick has been the driving force behind Dorina’s growth and transformation,” said Dan Broadley, father of Connor, who coached for five years with Maddalone. “Over two years, Nick has been able to transform Dorina from being non-competitive on the Cal Ripken Championship track to multiple state championships.

“But above all else, he was a man of society who believed that the lessons of baseball were passed on to life,” Dan Broadley said. “On a personal level, training with Nick has been one of the greatest joys of my life. I will never forget and will be forever grateful for the racing championship we had this summer.”

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Jessica Cavallaro, who handles league communications for the board, has known Maddalone for a few years and said he’s known across the fields as “Coach Nick.”

“He was a supervisor of the league and one of the pillars of the community,” she said. “When he first took over the league, he talked about developing it and he knew it would be an enormous task. I don’t think he knew she would grow so fast. Reaching the world championship was a huge achievement and he said to everyone that it was the experience of a lifetime.”

“We celebrated that we were the league that managed to change it,” Maddaloni said after the victory of his southern regional team that led them to the world championship. “We were the league that was a laughingstock.”

Now, there are only tears.

“He was an incredible man and a terrible loss to our community,” Bamond said.

visit gofundme.com/f/in-memory-of-nick-maddaloni.

For West Boca Baseball League updates, visit facebook.com/westbocayouthbaseball.