Baseball and softball players in seventh and eighth grades will have a place to play this summer. Since the Babe Ruth program ended in Centerville, traveling baseball and softball was the only option for those wishing to play either sport in the summer.
That’s changing this summer, after the Centerville Schools Board of Education voted to allow the Junior High Athletic Department to begin offering baseball and softball programs to their students.
Howar Junior High Athletic Director Rich Parker said preparations are just under way in making arrangements for equipment, fields and uniforms for both sports, as well as scheduling.
The teams for softball and baseball will not be grade specific, as both seventh and eighth grade student athletes will participate on the same team in each sport. Games will typically start at 10 a.m. and will be double-headers. Games are typically scheduled three days a week on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. The aim is for the schedule to have 10 dates, for a total of 20 games.
Parker said practices would start sometime in the latter half of May, with all games occurring in June. The season will end by June 30, regardless of any rainouts or cancelations.
Nearby schools with junior high baseball and softball programs include South Central Conference teams in Clarke and Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont, future SCC team Knoxville and area teams such as Wayne and Moravia.
Parker will be working to set Centerville’s Junior High schedule in the coming weeks, aiming to limit mileage as much as possible.
“We’re trying to keep it as local as we can, to limit our travel,” Parker said. “So, we’re going to be playing teams not in our conference like Wayne, Southeast Warren, Moravia and Seymour.”
Parker said they’re going to attempt to play each team twice to build Centerville’s schedule. In that scenario, Centerville would host a team first and then travel to the team the second time, or vice-versa. Typically, on a day softball is at home, baseball would be playing on the road, or vice-versa.