Play ball! Columbiana coach discusses local high school baseball league’s expansion

Sports

The Mahoning Valley High School Baseball League started with four area teams last year but is set to have at least nine this summer

COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – As of this Tuesday, “limited-contact” sports were allowed to resume across Ohio with summer leagues. 

With the high school baseball season being wiped out, the “Mahoning Valley High School Baseball League” is another option for local players this year, jump-started by Columbiana head coach Ryan Wolf last year.

“Our overall mission is just to give kids an opportunity to play and get coached by high school coaches,” said Wolf. “It gives them an avenue for those that maybe can’t afford a travel team or have other things going on that they don’t have the time commitment.”

Last year’s league had four area teams, but this year, organizers are looking at nine schools or more. They’re hoping to start on June 13 with a five-week season, followed by a post-season tournament in late July.

Wolf said they’re also allowing graduating high school seniors to play if they choose, giving those players some closure to their high school careers. As for fans and safety precautions, they plan on following the direction of each school district where the games are played.

“One thing the OHSAA made sure they put out, is this can’t be mandatory; none of this is mandatory,” said Wolf. “But even if a kid can only come one day a week, at least you get that opportunity to play, and if anybody else wants to join in, absolutely.”

“Each school is going to come up with their own plan of how they want to do it, and that’s how we’ll follow,” said Wolf. “So if we go to South Range and they have a certain recommendation that we have to follow, we’ll absolutely follow them.”

Wolf said games will be played at the high school fields or close by, pending approval from each school district. Ultimately, it’s a chance for everyone to get back out there and play ball.

“This is actually going to be a good test for the fall, I think,” said Wolf. “To see how we do things, how we follow, and how are things going for what our high school sports are going to look like down the road.”

***For more information on how you or your school can play in the “Mahoning Valley High School Baseball” League, email ryan.wolf@columbianaschools.org***

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.