Devils Lake Legion baseball is in the process of rebuilding.
After failing to field a full team last season, the goal is to get more local players interested in playing summer ball for the long term. But this is no easy task, and it is one that is going to take years rather than weeks to rectify.
Recently, the Devils Lake Park Board introduced Travis Titus to the local baseball scene, where he has been charged with the duty of working with the town’s young players, something that demonstrates a willingness to get the Devils Lake youth interested in baseball again for the long term.
It is the hope that such an effort will help stimulate additional interest in the city’s high school and
summer teams in the future.
First-year head coach Tyler Murn, who also coaches the DLHS freshman squad, understands the gravity of the situation that lies in front of all Devils Lake baseball coaches.
“We’re looking to get back into A-Legion eventually,” he said. “We really don’t have a timetable for that yet. Our feeder programs still have low numbers. So that’s where we hope Mr. Titus can come in and help get kids interested in baseball again.”
It seems that spurning youth interest in baseball is a necessary course of action, especially considering how difficult it’s been for Devils Lake to put a full team on the field in summers past.
Last season, the Storm played just a handful of games before the team completely disbanded. Now, things aren’t much better.
Now the team has enough players to qualify, but that isn’t saying much. With a 4-12 record so far this summer, and with a handful of players already lost from the team this season due to injury or personal reasons, legion baseball continues to be a struggle in this town.
But Devils Lake baseball coaches are hoping that won’t be the case in the future, and that all starts with being able to field a solid team.
“With our younger group, we’ve got a lot of guys that like to play baseball,” Murn said. “We’ve got a good core of guys coming up in our 15-year-old group, and I’ve got a few 16-year-old guys here already. So we should be able to field a pretty good team here for the next couple years.”
Until then, the Storm face an uphill climb to get back to the highest level of legion baseball. The team currently does not belong to either the A or B-Legion divisions.
Page 2 of 2 - The Storm are currently listed as an “independent” team and will compete in the Senior Babe Ruth tournament at the end of the season. They will be back in action with a doubleheader this Wednesday at Roosevelt Park where they will take on Hatton.
Follow Joe Mellenbruch on Twitter @Journal_Joe or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.