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Amateur Baseball: Goodhue looking to add townball team

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Another team is starting the process of joining the Classic Cannon Valley League in the near future.

Leo Tyler, 19, graduated from Goodhue High School in 2012 and decided he didn't want graduation to be the end of his baseball career. Continuing his education at Dakota County Technical College, Tyler talked with a few of his friends and they came to a consensus: Goodhue needed a town baseball team.

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"I was big into baseball as a kid," Tyler said. "I started out in Red Wing and after that I switched schools to Goodhue. ... I took pride in it and started playing for Goodhue. Once junior and senior year came, I realized I didn't want to stop playing baseball. I was thinking of any other way I could play baseball. I wasn't able to play legion anymore, so the idea struck me of a city team. "

So Tyler and his friends are creating the Goodhue Gladiators, set to play an independent schedule in 2013 and hopefully move into the CCVL for 2014.

"This year, it's better starting out as an independent team and then next year be introduced into the CCVL," Tyler said.

Tyler approached Dan Plein, the president of the Red Wing Aces' Board of Directors, and Plein directed him to Wayne Erickson, the president of the CCVL, who invited Tyler to the league meeting March 3.

"Wayne talked about the team and told me everything I'd need to do for it," Tyler said. "He had me present the idea of the team with players, ideas of structure, volunteering and fundraising."

Erickson advised the Gladiators to schedule anywhere between 10 and 20 games for their inaugural season and then move into a full schedule with the CCVL next year. Now, Goodhue needs to find funds to create a team, including jerseys, umps fees and field upkeep.

"Goodhue is a great town for fundraising," Tyler said. "There are some big businesses with agriculture. I'd like to contact them and see if they can help the team and I volunteer with all the proceeds coming to the team or even them donating. I'm looking in all the surrounding areas that will be playing Goodhue especially, 'Hey, we need support just to get this thing going.'"

The Gladiators are finding support from Goodhue head baseball coach Eric Schofield and Cannon Falls Bears' Brian Swanson. Tyler asked Schofield to manage Goodhue and Swanson offered to mentor the Gladiators in their first year. Schofield is also interested in playing for Goodhue, Tyler said.

The Gladiators are not allowed to take players from other teams in the area but can welcome players that live within a 25-mile radius of Goodhue. Currently, the Gladiators have six players and are continuing to build a roster, Tyler said.

"This thing is starting to roll and right now what we need is a solid roster to prove to them that we can make a team," he said.

For more information on playing for Goodhue or its fundraising efforts, contact Tyler at goodhuegladiators@yahoo.com or at 651-373-5079.

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Chris Harrell
Chris Harrell is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he interned at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and The Daily Caller in Washington, D.C. For updates on local sports, follow Chris on Twitter at @RECHarrell.
(651) 301-7879
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