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St. Croix Central starting American Legion baseball program

One of the new additions to the summer sports offerings is an American Legion baseball team at St. Croix Central.

The St. Croix Central Post 432 Panthers team will be coached by Central varsity baseball coach Jason Koele. Most of the players who made up Central’s varsity team this spring will compete for the Legion team this summer.

The first Central Legion games are tentatively scheduled for June 12, when the Panthers are slated to play a double-header at Ellsworth.

The Panthers will be competing as a Junior Legion team, so everyone on the roster must be born by Jan. 1, 1997, or later.

“Luckily, most of our guys on the spring team fall within that date range, so they’ll be playing with the same group of guys in both seasons,” Koele said.

With the last two spring seasons severely shortened by weather, it has been difficult to get outdoor practice time for the young players. Koele said the Legion program will “give our players not only a different experience of baseball, but to continue the progression of fundamentals and knowledge of the game itself.”

With Central having its own Legion program, local players won’t have to travel to other communities for an opportunity to play. And more Central players will get the opportunity to further their baseball skills and knowledge throughout the summer.

“We hope to accomplish three things. One is to continue to keep our athletes involved with our sports at SCC, specifically to improve our spring baseball program and secondly, to have as much fun as possible,” Koele said. “Third, we hope to get involved with our community and Legion, to represent the guiding principles of our school district and to serve our community, representing SCC with the highest of esteem and class.”

Fifteen players are expected to make up the first Panther Legion team. Thirteen are students at St. Croix Central and two are from Hudson.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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