Rugby Recreation kicks off summer
Local youth began practice for the Rugby Recreation baseball and softball season at baseball diamonds across from Ellery Park and at Johnsen Field this week.
The Babe Ruth league is open to middle through early high school age players. Girls age 10 to 13 are participating in softball.
On the first day of baseball practice Monday, Babe Ruth Coach Dillon Marco said, “We had 22 today at practice. We were missing one.”
The large group seemed eager to run around the bases and enjoy the fresh air. Players generally stayed apart from one another, while Marco and Rugby Recreation Director Landen Foster used loud outdoor voices to give instructions.
Marco said all 22 would play on the team. However, he added, “We might have a younger guys’ team, sort of like a JV Babe Ruth team, and then one with all the older kids.”
On the first day of practice, players worked on fundamentals.
“We did a lot of infield and outfield work and we did a lot of hitting separately with out infielders and outfielders, ” Marco said.
The Rugby Babe Ruth team will face Rolette Tuesday evening at Johnsen Field. The game is set to begin at 5:30 p.m.
Girls’ softball coach Mariah Yoder, who teaches first grade at Ely Elementary School during most of the year, worked on fundamentals with her team on their first day of practice at the city baseball diamond near Ellery Park.
“We practice Monday through Thursday,” Yoder said. “Today, we were just working on throwing basics and working on grounder fundamentals. So, we’re really building a foundation and working up from there.” Like the Babe Ruth team, the girls’ softball team has about 20 players.
Yoder said her players were excited to return to sports after a spring spent isolated from their friends.
“I know throughout the year, with girls I’ve had in other sports, they were like, ‘Can we have softball?'” Yoder recounted. “So, they’ve been really excited about being able to be outside and be with their friends and play softball. It’s awesome.”
Yoder coaches the team with the help of assistant coach Maisie Gault, a 2020 Rugby High graduate who played in several sports with the Panthers.
Yoder said the softball season schedule still needed some adjusting.
“Our first game is next week Wednesday in Fessenden. We play Carrington and Fessenden,” she said.
“We’re in the middle of scheduling some other games,” Yoder noted. “We have our first game next week and we have some games with Bottineau, so we’re just going to keep building some games (into the schedule) and getting some practice in girls’ sports.”
Yoder added, “With the crazy spring, (some city rec teams) are trying to figure out if they’re going to have a season. So, we’re rolling with the punches just to see if we can get the girls to have some games and get the girls some practice.”
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