By Tamas Mondovics

Sports“With much discipline comes much learning,” said Rich Luppino, one of the most highly respected professional local youth baseball and softball instructors who has been teaching the sport to young players, while promoting discipline on and off the field for the past 15 years.

Local youth baseball and softball players who were willing to brave the heat, accept Lupppino’s discipline-oriented approach, and give their best to learn the proper techniques of the sport they love, were not disappointed this summer.

Close to 150 children signed up for the camp, known as Rich Luppino’s United Sports Academy, held at the Bloomingdale Youth Sports Association (BYSA) facility, formerly the Bloomingdale Little League and now a Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken League.

“The camp serves as a fundraiser for the league and by far this is the most kids we have ever had for the summer camp,” Luppino said adding that the turnout is a fine testimony to both the players’ willingness to learn as well as the success of the camp. “I have to tip my hat to the kids. They are on time, there every day and don’t complain.” 

While calling Bloomingdale his home for the past three and a half years, Luppino, or Coach Rich as he has come to be called, has been establishing his name all over the State of Florida teaching the fundamentals of the sport as well as grooming players to be fit physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

“These four elements are vital for success,” he said.

Campers and assistant instructors all agree he is an outstanding teacher, including Shannon Dever-Sarmiento whose daughter Sam Barone, a competitive travel softball player with the Florida Fire, has attended the camp in the past SportsLily Shoemaker 7 Erica Ambrioso (instructor)and now serves as camp instructor.

“Coach Rich provides an exceptional experience for the children to sharpen their skills in a sport that they love, while promoting the teenagers as positive role models to help teach them,” Dever-Sarmiento said.

Campers unanimously commented on the value of what Coach Rich considers perhaps the most important aspect of the training at his camp, namely discipline, which is highlighted during an end of camp personal testimonial of staying free and clear from drug and alcohol. 

“Unfortunately I have learned the hard way and I want to make sure these kids don’t experience the same,” Coach Rich said.

To make sure credit goes where it should, Coach Rich praised BYSA President Kenny Hawkins, without whom he said “the success of the camp would not be possible.”

For more information, Coach Rich can be reached at by e-mail at

For information about BYSA, visit /

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