Abby Miller | Staff Writer
At Mason Middle School, there is a sport or club for every student, no matter his or her interests. Yet there is one major team sport missing from the MMS collection of sports: baseball. According to MMS athletic director, Stephanie Hyatt, boys have more of an opportunity in club baseball, rather than school baseball.
“The OHSAA limits junior high baseball teams to 17 games per season whereas a club baseball team may schedule upwards of 50-60 games,” Hyatt said. “In addition, keep in mind that the OHSAA does not allow players to play on both a school team and a club team at the same time. So club teams are preferred for the increased number of games.”
Hyatt said she has never gotten a complaint about not having a baseball team, but she has been asked the question numerous times.
“I haven’t gotten complaints, but I have gotten requests to add a baseball team,” Hyatt said. “When I explain why we don’t have one everyone has seemingly understood.”
Also, Hyatt said for the amount of work required, it wouldn’t be worth it for just 17 games.
“(For a team to be field it would take) money to hire coaches, buy uniforms, pay for transportation, pay for umpires, fields to play on, and other schools to play against,” Hyatt said. “Currently there is no additional funding in the district to add new programs, nor do we have the facilities to support another baseball team.”
Former Mason High School baseball coach Kyle Peters said that sometimes he does wish there was a baseball team at MMS.
“Sometimes I do (wish there was a baseball team), because I feel like it’s good for kids to represent their school,” Peters said. “There’s a lot of pride representing your school and playing for your school, but I understand that with the logistics, it’s very tough to do at the junior high level. So therefore I understand it, but sometimes I do wish there was (a team).”
Hyatt said that even if there was a school team, there would be no one to play.
“To my knowledge, only about two other GMC schools have a middle school baseball team,” Hyatt said.
Peters said he agreed with Hyatt about the future of baseball at MMS.
“I think, I could see (a team) but not for a little while,” Peters said. “The only way I would really see that happening is if there’s a push from the varsity coaches at the high school level to create one. If they push for it and feel like it’s valuable, then I think there would be one, but I don’t see that happening for a little while. I think if one school in the league does it, then I think other schools will.”
There is no need to worry about opportunities when it comes to baseball, according to Peters.
“I think there’s so many opportunities for boys at this age level, to play summer baseball; I really don’t feel like the school needs to provide (a team) because there is so many opportunities out there for boys to play,” Peters said.