Cornbelt the new buzzword for SL minor, major leaguers

Monday, April 30, 2007

Changes are on tap this season for area youth baseball players.

Teams in the minors (third and fourth grade) and majors (fifth and sixth grade) will now play in the Cornbelt League, with games to be held in Storm Lake, Rembrandt, Laurens and Albert City.

"Last year we played with Cherokee, Aurelia and Newell-Fonda. They've gone different ways, so we're going different ways," explained Gary Ringgenberg, president of the Storm Lake Youth Baseball Association.

Ringgenberg said three of the four minors teams have signed up, and the fourth team-comprised of minority kids recruited by the Storm Lake Police Department and coach Todd Erskin-is being rounded up.

Other Storm Lake minors coaches are Steve Berry, Donnie Nolte and Steve Brashears.

Storm Lake majors coaches are Dan Anderson, Mike Sandhoff and Steve Peters.

Sioux Central has two majors teams and two minors; Laurens has two majors and two minors; and Albert City has one major and one minor.

Another change is that the Pee Wees-who bat from a pitching machine, unlike in T-Ball, and are not in the Cornbelt-will be comprised of nine kindergarteners, in addition to first and second graders.

Storm Lake's minors and majors home games will be played at East Field (southwest of East School), which is also where the Pee Wee games will be held.

The Cornbelt's regular season starts in mid-May, with the postseason tourney slated for June 29 in Laurens. Before the tourney, the teams will play about a dozen games, or roughly two a week, said Ringgenberg.

Berry is the commissioner of the Pee Wee league, while Mike DeWerff is the minors commissioner and Anderson the majors commisioner.

Storm Lake's senior leaguers-comprised of seventh and eighth graders-will play this season in the Northwest Iowa Youth Baseball League, the commissioner of which is Kevin Kottke.

Storm Lake has three teams in the Northeast Division and will play its home games at West 9th Field, south of the Field of Dreams.

Other teams in the Northeast are Battle Creek-Ida Grove (games in Ida Grove), Odebolt, Galva-Holstein (games in Holstein), Schaller-Crestland (games in Schaller), Newell-Fonda (games in Newell), Alta and Aurelia.

Cherokee will compete in the Northwest Division this year along with Moville, Marcus, Remsen, Kingsley Pierson and River Valley.

The Southwest is made up of Lawton-Bronson, Anthon, Onawa, Whiting, Mapleton, Hornick, Charter Oak and Danbury.

The regular season starts May 17 and ends June 28. There will be 13 regular season games and games will be played on Mondays and Thursdays.

The postseason tournament will be held on July 2, 5, 9 and 13, with the championship game scheduled for Sunday, July 15 in Holstein.

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