It has been a long spring for athletes and fans of organized sports.

Back on March 12, the Ohio High School Athletic Association postponed all remaining winter sports tournaments. Those were eventually canceled. Then the spring sports seasons of baseball, softball, tennis and track and field were postponed and eventually canceled as well. So, those students who normally played spring sports were left without a 2020 season.

Hope was still given for American Legion baseball since it is played during the summer months. However, the American Legion Department of Ohio made the decision to cancel the official 2020 season in early May.

When Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health released their baseball and softball guidelines under Responsible RestartOhio last week, a door was opened for the local Legion baseball teams to play some games as an “independent” league this summer. The state of Ohio has deemed that beginning Tuesday, May 26, sports leagues in Ohio will be permitted to operate if these leagues can meet required safety protocols. This applies only to non-contact and limited-contact sports.

“Initially, we all thought our state was going to allow us to have a ‘Legion’ season, and when that got swept away from us we all started brainstorming how we can still play some ball,” said Waverly Post 142 Head Coach Jonathan Teeters.

“Our league (South Central Ohio League) held weekly Zoom meetings and decided we wanted to go forward as an independent league while following Legion rules. It’s been a challenge but will certainly be worth it.”

The state of Ohio has very specific guidelines about how everything needs to be handled. The link to the complete document can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/Baseball-Softball.pdf . It is also attached to this story online at newswatchman.com/sports.

“We met as a staff to discuss how we will follow the guidelines set forth by our governor. We will make sure our players and staff follow these,” said Teeters. “For instance, we have ordered face masks for all players and coaches.”

At this time, Teeters is looking to have both the junior and senior teams playing in 20-plus games, several tournaments, and a league tournament to finish the season.

The Waverly Post 142 Shockers program will be fielding both junior and senior level teams this season. Both of those squads will play their home games on the field at Piketon High School. The rosters are full of Piketon and Waverly baseball players. Other schools represented in smaller numbers include Eastern, Paint Valley, Minford, Greenfield McClain, and Valley.

From the South Central Ohio League (SCOL), Waverly Post 142, Chillicothe Post 757, Hillsboro Post 129, and Portsmouth Post 23 have all agreed to play. Regular member Circleville Post 134 will not be playing this summer. Outside of the SCOL, the teams from McArthur/Jackson, Lancaster, Ashland and Marietta will all participate as well. The independent league will be following the American Legion guidelines and their rulebook.

Both teams have full rosters. The senior-level team includes the following players: Jacob Mathews (Piketon), Kannon Pack (Piketon/SSU), Jake Thornsberry (Piketon), Jerrod Tackett (Piketon), Easton Lansing (Piketon), Logan Maynard (Piketon), Lane Mettler (Paint Valley), Derek Eblin (Waverly), JT Barnett (Waverly), Weston Roop (Waverly), Mason Ratcliff (Greenfield), Levi Coriell (Minford), Roger Woodruff (Piketon), Ben Flanders (Waverly), Michael Goodman (Waverly), Alex Boles (Waverly), and Carter Williams (Piketon). The bat boy is Malik Diack. Under Waverly Post 142 Senior Head Coach Jonathan Teeters, assistants are Corey Ferguson, Shane Vulgamore and Tim Frederick.

The junior-level team includes Carter Williams (Piketon), Alex and Tre Jenkins (Piketon), Garrett Moore (Piketon), Christian Horn (Piketon), Jayden Thacker (Piketon), Oren Harris (Piketon), Christian Mossbarger (Waverly), Drake Teeters (Waverly), Braydon Leeth (Waverly), LT Jordan (Waverly), Trenten Brown (Eastern), Trevan King (Waverly), Nic Lightle (Piketon), Colten Buckel (Valley), Hunter Edwards (Valley), Christopher Queen (Valley), and Carter Nickel (Valley). Under Waverly Post 142 Junior Head Coach Steve Chester, assistants coaches are Patrick Williams, Larry Jenkins, Trey Clemmons, Jeffery Noble, Jacob Chester and Eddie Jordan.

“We’re all excited to get this going,” said Teeters. “Our staff, players, parents, and everyone involved is excited to see some baseball!”

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