WAKEFIELD – Another northeast Nebraska American Legion baseball group opened their summer season earlier this week gearing up for a busy month of July.
Post 81 teams in Wakefield opened their season Tuesday night at West Point as they prepare for their first home contest when they welcome in Wisner-Pilger/Dodge-Howells on Thursday, June 25. Junior games will be held at 5 p.m. with Senior games to follow around 7 p.m.
Wakefield Post 81 suffered a road sweep at West Point to begin their season Tuesday. The Juniors lost 13-1 while the Seniors fell 9-0.
Riley Ward is the grandson of Paul Eaton and began his second season leading Post 81. Coach Ward said Paul is the guru and has a lot of knowledge to pass along.
“I think it’s good I have kind of my own identity with things,” said Ward. “Yes, he does give me a lot of advice but I don’t always take it. I do try to listen as much as I can. He’s been helpful and it’s been fun working with him the last two summers.”
Along with coach Eaton assisting Ward, Vincent Mahan has also been helping with the team.
Post 81 is a young team with only a few true seniors as most of the players will see the diamond during both games. One thing coach Ward is excited about is the amount of pitching to work with.
Practice began on June 3 for Post 81 as the main item coach Ward addressed was figuring out who will be at which positions but they’ll be a competitive team this summer.
“We’ve improved drastically over the last two weeks,” Ward added. “Now it’s just kind of fine-tuning some things. We’re really focusing on the little things this year. We don’t have the fire power that the three Wayne kids gave us last year.”
Players are from Allen, Martinsburg, South Sioux City and Wakefield.
Wakefield Post 81 will close out June visiting Pierce next Tuesday before entertaining Crofton on Thursday, July 2.
Other July outings include at Ponca (7/7), at Pender (7/9), vs. Pierce (7/14), vs. Ponca (7/16), at Crofton (7/20), at Battle Creek (7/23), vs. Pender (7/26) and vs. Wayne (7/28). The Wakefield Post 81 vs. Wayne Post 43 doubleheader will be carried on Big Red Country ‘KTCH’ 104.9 and online at waynedailynews.com.