Base­ball is back

Post 29 is field­ing a sum­mer team

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Gra­ham Thomas Staff Writer gth­omas@nwadg.com ■

For the first time in more than 10 years, Amer­i­can Le­gion base­ball is re­turn­ing to Siloam Springs.

A to­tal of 13 play­ers, mostly from Siloam Springs High School’s base­ball team, have com­mit­ted to par­tic­i­pat­ing on Post 29’s team, ac­cord­ing to Allen Broyles, who will serve as the team’s gen­eral man­ager.

High school base­ball coach Alan Hard­cas­tle will be the team’s field man­ager with Drew Eng­land serv­ing as an as­sis­tant coach.

Ac­cord­ing to records and best­known knowl­edge, it’s been since the sum­mer of 2006 since Post 29 has spon­sored a team. Post 29 is more than ex­cited to be able to spon­sor a team this sum­mer, ac­cord­ing to mem­ber and past com­man­der J.W. Smith.

“Ab­so­lutely,” said Smith. “We’ve been try­ing to do this for the last five years.

“Allen Broyles stepped up to the plate this year and fi­nally got it done. There were sev­eral lead­ers in the base­ball com­mu­nity that have at­tempted to do this. I thought we had it done a cou­ple of times.”

Smith is cur­rently serv­ing as Depart­ment of Arkansas com­man­der and will re­turn to com­mand at Post 29 af­ter June 10. He said 73 Amer­i­can Le­gion teams have reg­is­tered in Arkansas this sum­mer in ei­ther the ju­nior (17-and-un­der) or se­nior (19-and-un­der) di­vi­sions. Siloam Springs will be a se­nior di­vi­sion team, Broyles said.

Amer­i­can Le­gion, and other leagues such as Babe Ruth and Lit­tle League, have taken a hit over the years with the in­crease

B ack in the day, that was the only op­tion in the sum­mer. Back then, it was a big deal. There was tra­di­tion and pride. Nowa­days, these guys have all these op­tions. Some of them are just re­ally ex­pen­sive. Show­case and travel ball can spend a lot of money. We were just look­ing at pro­vid­ing an op­tion for our lo­cal guys that was affordable, re­store that pride and keep our high school boys to­gether and give them an affordable and com­pet­i­tive op­tion. That was our pur­pose. Allen Broyles Gen­eral man­ager, Post 29

in pop­u­lar­ity of travel and show­case base­ball.

Broyles re­mem­bers grow­ing up play­ing Amer­i­can Le­gion base­ball.

“Back in the day, that was the only op­tion in the sum­mer,” he said. “Back then, it was a big deal. There was tra­di­tion and pride. Nowa­days, these guys have all these op­tions. Some of them are just re­ally ex­pen­sive. Show­case and travel ball can spend a lot of money. We were just look­ing at pro­vid­ing an op­tion for our lo­cal guys that was affordable, re­store that pride and keep our high school boys to­gether and give them an affordable and com­pet­i­tive op­tion. That was our pur­pose.”

In­clud­ing Post 29, there are three teams in the up­per North­west Arkansas area that will play

Amer­i­can Le­gion, in­clud­ing Rogers and Prairie Grove.

Post 29’s first games were sched­uled for Tues­day, May 30, at Lin­coln in a nonLe­gion sanc­tioned game. Re­sults were not avail­able at presstime.

Post 29 is sched­uled to play in a tour­na­ment in Har­ri­son Friday and Saturday.

Post 29 will have four home dates, play­ing on each Wed­nes­day in June at James Butts Base­ball Com­plex in Siloam Springs.

Hard­cas­tle, who’s been the base­ball coach at Siloam Springs High School the last three sea­sons, will coach the team un­til the Arkansas Ac­tiv­i­ties As­so­ci­a­tion dead pe­riod in late June. Then he will not be able to coach them for two weeks.

Broyles said Eng­land will step up and coach the team in Hard­cas­tle’s ab­sence.

Broyles also may do some coach­ing, but his main role will be that of

I f any­one is in­ter­ested, we’ll be play­ing all over North­west Arkansas. ... We’ll be re­gional. There might be some good ex­po­sure op­por­tu­nity. Allen Broyles Gen­eral man­ager, Post 29

team ad­min­is­tra­tor.

Play­ers on the team in­clude Broyles’ son, Tan­ner Broyles, Isaac Price, Reed Wil­banks, Baron Meek, Lan­don Nickel, Nolan Wallis, Ja­cob Rowe, Dal­ton Marsh, Chance Hil­burn, Trey Get­tys, L.T. El­lis, Collin Evers and Chance Junker­mann.

Junker­mann, a grad­u­ated se­nior from Siloam Springs, will even be el­i­gi­ble to play next sum­mer be­cause Le­gion rules al­low a player to come back af­ter one year of col­lege if they were on the ros­ter the pre­vi­ous year, Broyles said.

Broyles said Junker­mann will pro­vide good lead­er­ship for what is mostly a young team play­ing in a se­nior di­vi­sion.

“That will be a good role for Chance,” Broyles said. “He can con­tinue to pro­vide lead­er­ship that he pro­vided dur­ing high school.”

Broyles said all the mem­bers of the high school team were of­fered a spot to play on the Post 29 team, but it wasn’t a re­quire­ment.

“Some of them made other choices to play else­where,” he said.

Post 29’s reg­u­lar sea­son sched­ule runs through the first of July. The state tour­na­ment will be in Har­ri­son later in July.

Broyles said the team is still in search of a ma­jor ti­tle spon­sor.

“If any­one is in­ter­ested, we’ll be play­ing all over North­west Arkansas,” he said. “We’ll go down as far as Russellville and play this sum­mer. We’ll be re­gional. There might be some good ex­po­sure op­por­tu­nity.”

Smith said Post 29 has contributed $500 to the team this year and hopes to pro­vide more in com­ing sea­sons. The team will wear a patch with Post 29’s logo on it.

Bud Sullins/Spe­cial to the Her­ald-Leader

Sec­ond base­man L.T. El­lis makes a play in a game dur­ing high school base­ball sea­son. El­lis is on the ros­ter for the Siloam Springs Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 29 base­ball team.

Bud Sullins/Spe­cial to the Her­ald-Leader

Siloam Springs pitcher Chance Junker­mann will play with the Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 29 team this sum­mer. Junker­mann re­cently com­pleted his se­nior sea­son with the Pan­thers.

Bud Sullins/Spe­cial to the Her­ald-Leader

Siloam Springs base­ball coach Alan Hard­cas­tle holds up the stop sign at third base for run­ner Baron Meek dur­ing the Pan­thers’ game against Greenwood this sea­son. Hard­cas­tle will coach the Siloam Springs Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 29 team this sum­mer, while Meek will be one of the play­ers.

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