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Co-ed kickball league brings friends together

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Kickball isn’t just for kids anymore.

Four kickball games, involving eight teams, were being contested at the same time at Randall Park in Freeport on Tuesday evening. All of the players were adults of varying ages from all over Long Island — pitching, catching, kicking, fielding and cheering on their teammates.

This summer is the first time that LI-Kick has brought its adult league to Freeport. Since it was created in 2013, LI-Kick has promoted itself as Long Island’s largest provider of adult co-ed sports. Founder Sal Farruggia, of Glen Cove, said he started the league as part of an effort to make new friends and get involved in the community.

Initially, there were eight teams. On July 23, during one of the weekly games in Freeport, Farruggia announced that the 10,000th player had signed up. In between games, he presented a special jersey to Sergio Recine, who was celebrating his 30th birthday. Recine has played for the Ballsy All Nighters team for five seasons.

Sabrina Dippolito, 26, from Wantagh, who was playing in her first season, said she joined the league to meet new people. “It’s something to do after work,” she said. “This has kept me busy, and it’s everything I thought it would be — competitive and fun.”

LI-Kick isn’t limited to competitive kickball. The organization organizes games year-round, indoor and outdoor, including soccer (Monday nights in Glen Cove), bowling (Wednesday nights in Garden City), cornhole (Monday nights in Bayshore), volleyball (Thursday nights in Atlantic Beach) and kickball not just on Tuesdays in Freeport, but also on Wednesdays in East Islip. Wantagh, Smithtown, Patchogue and Ronkonkoma host some of the competition.

“I’ve met a lot of awesome people,” Farruggia said. “But it’s more than just gaming.” After every game, players gather at a local watering hole to share a drink and grab a bite to eat. In Freeport, they congregate at BrewSA, a microbrewery on the Nautical Mile.

“Randall Park is beautiful,” Farruggia said. “We get this great field, and we’re next to the Nautical Mile, and we get to hang out there after every game.”

While many players come for the competition, others simply enjoy the camaraderie with their teammates. Five couples who are now married met on the kickball field, Farruggia said.

“We’re like one giant family,” he added.

One of those couples, Toni Ann Lordi, 32, and Joe Piazza, 26, of Bayshore, who met at a game last year, are expecting their first child — imminently. Laughing and rubbing her belly, Lordi stayed on the sidelines Tuesday night. “I have to sit out,” she said. “I’m due today. I’m fine. But I didn’t want to miss the games.”