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Baseball players needed to fill Holley youth rosters

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 April 2014 at 12:00 am

Local teams see drop off in participants this year

HOLLEY – It’s a rite of passage for many youths: spending the spring making friends on the Little League diamond, swatting mosquitoes in the outfield and chewing sunflower seeds on the bench.

But fewer boys and their families are choosing the sport these days in some local leagues.

Holley typically has 150 players, ages 5 to 17, but only has 60 committed so far. Albion’s Midget League is down from eight to seven teams and many of the teams use to have 15 to 20 players ages 8 to 12. The teams this year typically has 11 or 12 players.

“With electronics kids don’t want to leave the house,” said Heather Colella, director of the Holley Youth Baseball Program.

She said lacrosse seems to be siphoning off some players. Holley’s soccer season also kicks off in late June and Colella said there is some overlap with baseball season. That may be deterring some from playing baseball.

“We’re really down this year for baseball,” she said. “I worry about their socialization. I want these kids to have something to do.”

Colella was director of the league last year and it had a strong year with 150 playing T-ball, coach pitch, Little League and Pony League. There are still two weeks left to sign up for the sport. Players and their parents are welcome to contact her at 585-752-6158 or through the League’s Facebook page by clicking here.

In the Albion Midget League, the numbers seem to be down among the older players, the 11- and 12-year-olds, said Michael Neidert, one of the coaches.

There has been an increase in younger players, which Neidert said bodes well for the future of the league.

“We’re not sure why the numbers are down,” he said about the overall participants. “The kids must be choosing something else.”

The cold spring and the snow and rain haven’t helped get people in a baseball mood. The Albion league has pushed back opening day from May 3 to May 10.

“Normally the kids would be out practicing by now,” Neidert said.

Players are still welcome to sign up for the season in Albion.