RYE, N.Y. – Andrew Rogovic didn’t listen to people who told him there would be limited interested in Rye Brook for creating a travel softball team for 10-year-old girls.
Armed with information, interest and a daughter who was intent on playing, Rogovic developed his own plan to create a program. Last fall, 14 players tried out for the team, and this fall, 27 girls tried out. His intuition turned out to be correct.
“At the time we first started, there were 65 kids playing in third, fourth and fifth grade,’’ Rogovic said. “I couldn’t believe there wasn’t an interest. I just started going to parents – ‘Would you be interested? – and it just kept getting bigger. A lot of parents came on board and we said let’s reach out to everyone.”
Rogovic, a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, said travel soccer had been the sport of choice for many girls in Rye Brook. He wanted to give children another outlet, and it helped that he knows softball. He has played for some strong recreational teams and his wife is a former player.
Last winter, he developed a clinic at a local gym and hired a college pitching coach. Rogovic, the college coach and one other coach handled all of the clinics.
“We wanted to give these kids a chance to play in a more competitive environment,’’ Rogovic said. “I think there was a void there and we just wanted to try to fill it.”
There is a long way to go to getting the program on solid footing. The lessons at Pro Swing help, and Rogovic has been working on creating a program for pitching lessons.
“It’s been exciting and rewarding,’’ Rogovic said. “The parents are really positive and the girls are improving. Hopefully it keeps on spreading. There are a lot of other dads who have contributed a lot of their time to make this work.”
Going forward, Rogovic and his coaches are working on a merger of sorts with Port Chester based baseball and softball facility ProSwing, to promote growth of the program. "They are handling our developmental team and the hope is that by joining them we can have not only a 10U but also a 12U and 14U next year,’’ Rogovic said.
The juggle that Rogovic will face is maintaining his successful real estate career with the demands of the program he is creating.
He is a full-time Associate Broker and has been recognized with multiple awards since coming out of a career in the financial services sector 10 years ago. He also assists a boys 8-and-under travel team on which his son plays, and was recently asked to join the board of Rye Brook Travel Baseball to help grow softball and baseball in that community.
“Real estate allows for a lot of flexibility,’’ Rogovic said. “But it’s more time consuming than a lot of people think. You learn to juggle things. My assistant laughs at me because sometimes after practices or games, most people are done. I'll go home and work or go on an appointment. "You have to make sure it doesn’t negatively impact work, and parents understand sometimes I’ll have things that can’t be pushed off. It also helps that I have an understanding wife.”