Director and Coach, Rob Traverse has led the RI Fire n’ Ice softball program since its inception 9 years ago. Under his direction, RI Fire n’ Ice has grown into an elite U18 softball program on and off the field.
A veteran in the coaching ranks, Traverse has spent the last nineteen years as head softball coach at East Providence High School. He coached the Townies to the Southern Divisional Championship in 2001, 2004 and 2005 and has over 200 wins to his credit in division I. During his tenure, the Townies have qualified for the Division I state playoffs 18 out of 19 years. Last season, the team received the Sportsmanship Award for D1 while finishing 11-5 on the year. In 2016, the Townies received the "It Takes a Team Award" by the Providence Journal. Traverse was named “Division I Coach of the Year” in 2013 and reached the Final Four in 2017 for the first time since 2005. In addition, he has provided instruction at numerous softball and baseball camps throughout the region for the past 28 years.
As a player, Traverse was a standout second baseman for East Providence High School earning all-star and all-state selections in 1985. He went on to play Division I collegiate baseball at the University of Rhode Island from 1985 to 1989 and was named team captain in his senior year.
Traverse graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1989 with a degree in education and is currently a guidance counselor at East Providence High School. He has been a teacher/counselor for 28 years in the East Providence School System.
It is our pleasure to welcome long-time softball coach PJ Bessette to the FNI Family. PJ has been involved with fast-pitch softball since 2009. He founded the Cranston/RI Ravens Organization in 2012. In addition to his experience in the world of travel softball, PJ spent 7 years as the head coach at Cranston East guiding them to the playoffs in both D1 and D2. In addition, he was named DII Coach of the Year in 2014. Last year, he was named the assistant coach of the Cranston West HS softball team. Further, PJ was the president of the RI Softball Coaches Association for the past two years. He is Cranston police officer and resides in Cranston with his wife and 3 daughters.
Bob Sasso has been a household name in the softball ranks for the past 15 years, coaching at every age level from 10U-18+. In addition to coaching travel softball, Bob has been the head high school softball coach at both Scituate High School and Smithfield High School. Bob has also been a hitting, fielding, and catching instructor for many years at Serious Softball in Smithfield, RI. Bob was an excellent baseball player in his own right playing at the collegiate level as well as many years in the amateur circuit. Bob works in law enforcement and is married with three children (none of whom are playing anymore) and resides in Smithfield, RI. We are excited to add Bob to our knowledgeable and experienced coaching staff at RI Fire N' Ice.
Paul Rizzo is entering his fourth season with RI Fire n’ Ice and will take the helm of the 16U team again this year. In his first season with FNI, Coach Rizz helped to start up the 18U Red Team and lead them to an impressive 15-10-3 record. As a player, Rizzo was a standout shortstop with LaSalle Academy and starred for Providence College in the mid eighties. He spent time in the New York Mets organization before beginning his coaching career at North Providence High School. Rizzo captured multiple D1 state championships with the North Providence High School Softball Team before leaving to raise his four children. Currently, he is the long time head boys basketball coach at NPHS. Coach Rizz and his wife, Donna, have been key contributors to the success of the 14U team and we are lucky to have them both!!!
Coach Beats has been an assistant coach with Rhode Island Fire n’ Ice for 8 years. His knowledge of the game and positive approach have made him a valuable part of the organization and a big reason for the program's success. Mike has does an excellent job teaching the outfielders and working as a hitting instructor.
Coach Clay enters his fifth season as an assistant coach with Rhode Island Fire n’ Ice. He and Rob were college baseball teammates at the University of Rhode Island from 1985-89. While at URI, Steve was an outfielder/catcher and enjoyed success as a wide receiver on the football team as well. He was an Assistant Varsity Baseball Coach at Needham High School (MA) from 1995-2000. With Fire n' Ice, Steve enjoys working with the catchers and sharing his knowledge of hitting as well.
Ally enters her second year coaching with Fire N' Ice and will assume more responsibility as lead assistant coach of the Blue team. Ally is currently a sophomore at Assumption College where she quickly won the position of starting shortstop as a freshman. Prior to college, Ally received offers to play Division I softball, but she opted to continue her playing career at DII Assumption College in order to pursue a degree in Sports Management. Ally was an outstanding shortstop for Fire N' Ice for 7 seasons and will forever be remembered for her fearsome hitting and stellar defense. Equally impressive from our viewpoint has been watching her emerge as a team leader which at times was more like having a coach in uniform. While at Smithfield High School, she was a standout multi-sport athlete in both soccer and hockey, before deciding to focus solely on softball. Her talent on the diamond was well recognized as she was named Providence Journal First-Team All-State for each of her four years! We are extremely happy to have "Young Beats" as a member of our staff.
We are proud to have Coach “Fons” with FNI. Fons was a standout player at both East Providence High School and then playing for Coach LaRose at JWU. Fons has also been an assistant coach as well at JWU with LaRose. Fons brings a wealth of knowledge of the game and works particularly well with the infielders.
Fire N Ice is more than being on a competitive team and playing to get committed to a college team. This organization is a family where you will make great friendships and also be able to share your love for the game with your teammates. The coaching staff pushes you to be the best player that you can be, and makes sure you are ready to perform in front of college coaches. Having the opportunity to play for fire n ice is an honor and privilege. At fire n ice, it’s more than just softball.
- Alex Pina, player
Fire n Ice is an amazing organization. The coaches are great and help each player build in their own way. The coaches, parents and players were wonderful and welcomed us into the Softball family. We have seen our daughter grow as a player both mentally and physically. We owe this to the coaches and how they work on each players strengths and weaknesses. They don’t criticize the players if they make a mistake or error but will make suggestions which are always done in a positive way. We’re glad that we are a part of the Fire and Ice organization.
- David and Robyn Geremia, parents
The past 4 years with FNI have been the best years of travel softball for me. All of our coaches work with each player individually to sharpen the players skills and improve their game. I have made so many memories with the girls on the team and I'm really going to miss playing for this organization next year, but I wouldn't have wanted to end travel ball with any other team.
- Paige Concannon, player
The team felt like a family. This made it fun to play and gave us an edge over the other teams. We work together so well which made winning feel easy. I feel I have come such a long way since I first came to Fire n’ Ice 3 years ago. My hitting mechanics and abilities have improved immensely as well as my offensive skills. The coaches never stopped helping me improve either, I was given advice up until the very end of my time on fire n’ ice. Fire N’ Ice is more than just a team, it is a family. Everybody cares about everyone, and this ranges from all 3 teams we have. If someone makes a big play, they’ll get congratulated by the parents, players and coaches of all of our teams. The team chemistry is unbeatable, and this factor makes it that much easier to perform well. Being so close and working so well together makes it that much easier to win. Joining Fire n’ Ice 3 years ago was by far one of the best decisions I have ever made.
- Caitlin Murphy, player
Fire N’ Ice really shaped me into the player I always knew I could be but never reached that point. The coaching and constant support of my teammates made my confidence grow tremendously. I always felt like the girls had my back and I always had theirs and I think that’s so important. It was definitely the best 2 years I’ve had of my softball career. Even though there were 2 separate teams, I felt close with both of them despite only playing with 1 team during tournaments.
- Tori Young, player
After playing 1 season with the Fire N’ Ice organization, I have fallen in love with all of it. The coach staff, players and parents are all amazing. Coming into the program knowing I made the team with all older girls was a very nervous task for me to proceed with. The girls were very welcoming and made me feel like this is were I belong. I wish I found this program years earlier, so I could spend more and more time with the amazing players. This orginaztion will always have love and respect for every player who wore a Fire N’ Ice uniform, even if they graduated. This team has improved me as not only a player, but a better person in life.
- Lauren Geremia, player
This organization is by far the best I have been apart of. Not only is the level at which practices are run and the commitment to this team that to a college team, but just the environment itself is something I am so lucky to be a part of. I come to practice excited to learn something new and grow as a player while also having fun with all of my teammates. I am so proud to be apart of this amazing team which I can also call my second family.
- Hannah LaRose, player
I have been in the the Fire n' Ice organization for 7 years now and still in year 7, i am just as excited to come to practice and games as i was in year 1. The coaches are always prepared with a great practice plan that makes it run very smoothly and is adjusted week to week depending on which areas we need to approve on the most. Fire n' Ice provides a family atmosphere that is second to none. At every single team event or game you will not only see parents but also grandparents and siblings and many others supporting the team. It has been and honor to wear the Fire n' Ice jersey for so long and i have made many memories and life long friends I will never forget.
- Ally Beaton, player
I have played for several different organizations throughout my softball career and none of them have compared to the RI Fire N' Ice. The coaches all knew the game extremely well and prepared well thought out practices every week to help every player get better. The talent combined with the chemistry on the team made us an unstoppable force on the field. I only played one year with this team, and I met some of my best friends on it and had so much fun while becoming a better player at the same time. This team will become your second family, and it will definitely help you reach the next step in your softball career.
- Maddi Leite, player
The Fire n Ice Softball Program is so much more than a softball program. The coaches create a positive learning environment and improve the skills of every player to ensure a solid team. You also learn how to act as a team player and how to cheer on everyone and don't hang your heads even if you are losing. This past year I have grown as a player and a person. The family environment the Fire n Ice program creates makes the experience a truly great one. It was such a honor to have the privilege to play on this team.
- Alex Mitchell, player
Being on Fire n' Ice has been an extremely positive experience for my daughter this season. Fire n' Ice is an exceptionally well run organization with coaches who truly care about the success of each of their players. It has been wonderful to watch my daughter grow as a player, to see the girls bond both on and off the field, and to witness them quickly become a force to be reckoned with!
- Natalie Mitchell, parent
As new members to the team this year we felt so welcomed by all players, parents and coaches! This is a true testament to the leadership! You take the time to share your goals, expectations and plans and stick to them! Coaches demonstrate good sportsmanship and never give up on the players which clearly trickles down to the girls.
- Lisa Leite, parent
Fire n Ice is more then just a softball team its a family. Practices and games are always so much fun because of the people that you are with. The coaches are very good about working with you if you have something specific you need to work on and are very encouraging with the way they coach. The envrionment is always so much fun but we still all stay focused and work hard while having a great time with the other girls and the coaches.
- Paige Concannon, player
Fire n Ice is the 'sleeper cell' of softball. A humble, quiet organization with smart, talented players who always delivered on the field and at the plate, winning games as well as the respect of our competition. A wonderful organization with whom to grow and develop.
-Kerrie Atwell, parent
The amount of college coaches who would show up at our showcases was astounding. Many of them said they would gladly take any of our players based on the way the organization was run.
-Bruce Atwell, parent
When I first came to Fire N' Ice, I was hesitant to leave the organization I came from, but it ended up being one of the best decisions I've ever made. The coaching and the team atmosphere is unlike anything I've ever had. The coaches provide a variety of new drills each week, and a constant motivation to improve, while keeping the atmosphere at a happy medium where you never feel overwhelmed. Throughout my past 2 years on the team I've been able to not only enjoy myself and have fun, but improve as a player in all aspects of the game. Fire N' Ice is more than just a team, its a family, and I cant imagine playing for any other team.
- Caitlin Murphy, player
I saw my daughter, Vanessa grow as a player and leader with each game. Her coaches are fantastic. Practices were unbelievable, she learned so much each time. Best coaching she has ever had.
-Suzanne Venkataraman, parent
I've never had a better experience with a team. Being apart of and playing for FnI has opened up numerous opportunities for me and I can't imagine myself anywhere else.
- Jocelyn Bodington, player
After spending one year so far with Fire n Ice, I wish I tried out earlier. I learned so much from the coaches and the players were all so nice. It really helped me see the game in a new way. I also appreciate how the coaches focused not only on individual skills but also team skills. Fire n Ice was a great team and I wish to continue with the program to learn more from the team and coaches.
- Allison Ainley, player
Fire n Ice is a stand up organization. The coaches, players and parents are all supportive and helpful. The coaches are knowledgeable and willing to work hard with players to make them better both on and off of the field. Coming to Fire n Ice 2 years ago was the best decision our family could have made.
- Ellen Murphy, parent
The organization overall is by far the best organization I have ever played for. Each coach knows each player specifically and helps them improve as a person and player. The players are all also so invested in the game. Throughout each season here I have made countless memories while improving every season.
- Renae Lacroix, player
Fire n Ice allowed me to have fun on and off the field and sharpen my skills at the same time. Each practice, Coach Rob's motivation and organization inspired me to work at something and become a better player. It's very hard to find a team where the coach provides an environment where you can have fun, be very competitive, and also victorious 99% of the time....And FNI has all of those things. First time in a while I really enjoyed myself out on the field and even at practice. The game became a lot more fun for me and each tournament was a blast.
- Annie Mitchell, player
The girls coaches and parents are all enjoying themselves and it has transcended on the field and we are playing very well as a team. They are well coached and carry themselves very well on the field. Most of our games have been very well attended by various coaches and our recruit- able players are getting some good looks.
- Dave Mitchell, Parent
The team bond this year has been stronger than ever before, and we carry our team chemistry onto the field. I also enjoyed how every practice has been different and we cover all aspects of the game. I feel way more prepared come game time.
- Maddie Nees, player
I played with the team and couldn't imagine playing for any other team. FNI is like a second family. My growth and success as a player can be fully contributed to FNI.
- Emily Anderson, player
After playing for RI Fire N Ice for six years, I have fallen in love with the organization. Being able to showcase yourself to college coaches while still keeping the competition and teamwork aspect of the game alive is very rewarding to a player. The coaching staff is phenomenal, taking time to find the strengths and weaknesses of each individual player and working with them on those specific skills. In addition to that, the family atmosphere of Fire N Ice is unlike any other team. Not one Fire N Ice player has ever went to another team because they were unhappy with their experience here and that's because there is an astounding amount of respect for every member of the Fire N Ice "family."
- Emily Machado, player
I have played with the RI Fire n' Ice for about the past 7 years and it has been one of the best experiences of my life. After struggling to find a team for a few months, I stumbled upon the RI Fire n' Ice and decided to give it a try. I was a little nervous at first but the girls and coaches accepted me right away and I became a part of the family. Over the years some of the girls have aged out, but a few of us have remained together and they have become a part of my extended family. Not only did the "veterans" become part of my family, but even the newer players. Our team chemistry is amazing and I owe a lot of it to the coaches as well. Our coaches are able to somehow bring together a variety of different personalities with little to no problems within the members of the team. This team has helped me become a better player and person, and I will be forever grateful of that.
- Taylor Pacheco, player
For all inquiries, please contact Coach Rob Traverse at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 401-864-6770
Fire n' Ice Blue Athlete Go Live ID: 007103
Fire n' Ice White Athlete Go Live ID: 007520