Friday, August 29, 2014
   
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Baseball board tries to revitalize the Melons program

A new board of directors is starting from scratch to raise the excitement and competitive level of the Melons baseball program.

Jory Flesch, secretary and treasurer, said the goal is to revitalize the program and use community involvement.

Back when he played for the Melons, Flesch said going to practice was fun for him and his teammates, and they were winning.

Gothenburg Baseball Inc. vice president Todd Geiken said the goal of this committee and the money raised is to get the right mindset back into the Gothenburg baseball program.

“We want the Melons to be a competitive option in the summer,” Geiken said. “We realize the kids need to have fun coming to the field.

Part of that fun is having a nice field to play on. With a nice field and equipment for the players to use will potentially lead to wins and that’s what puts fans in the stands—wins.

What will make this rebuilding and revitalization of the baseball teams is community donation and involvement, Flesch said.

The board is in need of $50,000 for baseball equipment and projects on and around the field.

“In the late ’90 and early 2000s we had a good group of coaching bodies and volunteers,” Flesch said.

Geiken said the stands used to be full and the board has talked about events to promote and get people in the community involved again.

Flesch noted that individuals who haven’t played in recent years have told him they will play this season.

He said he expects more players to commit at a parent sign up in the future.

Longtime Melons manager Tot Holmes said in 1985 when the Melons won a Class-C state championship the team was filled with athletes who played three sports.

“The kids haven’t changed,” Holmes said. “The difference is they are focusing on one sport.”

Along with that Holmes noted that kids now have responsibilities now that may have only been options in the past.

“It’s a different culture,” Holmes said. “To be successful we have to get everybody.”

Donations to the Gothenburg Baseball Board can be made to Jory Flesch and Gothenburg Baseball Inc. at 619 11th Street.

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