Just a few years after a brief absence of baseball at Glenwood High School in New Boston, the Tigers will once again not field a team on the diamond this spring. The news of there not being high school baseball played in Tiger Country was disappointing to those students who acknowledged interest in playing, as well as to Glenwood Athletic Director Jimmy Bailey.
“The numbers just weren’t there,” Bailey said.
The Tigers were just coming back to the diamond, after a four year absence.
“From seasons 2008-2011 we didn’t have a team, for the same reasons,” Bailey said. “There just weren’t enough kids interested in playing baseball.”
As the 2012 baseball season approached, the Tigers hiatus from playing baseball came to an end, as Glenwood competed on the baseball diamond for the first time since 2007.
“Every year we had a meeting to see if there were enough kids to play,” Bailey said. “Finally in 2012 we had enough to play, and then we had four seasons. We had enough to field a team for four years, and then this year we didn’t have enough.”
This year reflected the previous years, and a meeting was held for any Glenwood High School student interested in playing baseball.
“We had three different times where I asked the kids if they were interested,” Bailey said. “We had 11 sign up saying they were interested.”
Those 11 kids then dropped down to 10 interested students, as one of the students decided he was no longer interested. Another interested student was then ruled inactive for 13 games by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
“One of the kids was a transfer, who played somewhere last year,” Bailey said. “He was going to have to sit out 13 games.”
It was from there, the administrators at Glenwood decided they would not have a team due to a lack of interest.
Baseball requires a minimum of nine players on a team just to play a game. As pitching limitations were added in, and then the loss of another interested player due to injury, the unfortunate reality of not having a baseball team this year at Glenwood became clear.
“It just wasn’t enough,” Bailey said. “If you had 11 or 12 kids that you knew were going to show up every single day, that would be enough to go ahead.”
Last year, Glenwood entered into its tournament game with only nine kids who could dress.
“We had nine on the bench that I could play,” Bailey said.
Bailey has served as the Glenwood Baseball coach for the past four seasons.
Bailey wasn’t sure when baseball first started at Glenwood, but knew it held a long history with the school.
“I don’t know what year they first offered baseball, but they’ve always had teams,” Bailey said. “You could hear John Wickline talk about them playing ball, and he graduated in the 1950’s.”
Those students who were interested in playing baseball will still have an opportunity to play, even though Glenwood will not be fielding a team this season.
“OHSAA rules now have options for kids,” Bailey said. “For example, if we had kids that wanted to play football, and since we don’t offer a football team, there are cases where that’s okay (a student playing for another school). If your district doesn’t provide it, you could go elsewhere.”
Naturally, those kids would also be encouraged to participate in any other offered sports by their home school district, but the option to try out for another school’s team would be available.
So far, one of the students at Glenwood, who was interested in playing baseball has sought further information on that option, however, that student was inquiring for next year, if the same situation was to happen, as he would miss this season due to injury.
Telling the students the unfortunate news was not easy for Bailey.
“It was a conversation I didn’t want to have with them obviously,” Bailey said. “I think they knew what to expect, because I kept telling them to make sure they talk to the other students. It was tough to tell them that. I hated to break that news to them, because I knew a few of them particularly really enjoyed the game.”
The potential of not being able to support certain sports is one of the downsides of smaller schools.
“With a small school like this, there’s some positives and negatives,” Bailey said. “One of the negatives is the numbers, because it can make it difficult some times, but the positives to having a small school like us, is that just about any kid that wants to participate in something, or try something out, gets that opportunity. That doesn’t happen everywhere, so it stinks even more so that some kids, that maybe would never have the opportunity to do this, won’t get to because of a numbers issue.”
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.
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