VFW Baseball: Woodbury, East Ridge eliminated from district playoffs
The VFW season comes to an end for Woodbury and East Ridge these last couple of days to conclude a season of learning and improving from both teams.
The Woodbury Royals fell to Roseville after a long battle on Wednesday night that lasted nine innings. The two teams battled back and forth for the lead, but the game ended up 11-8 in favor of Roseville.
The East Ridge Raptors were supposed to play on Thursday against Roseville, but the off and on rain caused the game to be pushed to Friday night. Unfortunately, the Raptors had to forfeit their season on Friday night after realizing they would only have seven players at the championship game on Saturday if they were to win on Friday.
"It's hard to see your season end that way, but I have seen a lot of these players grow into better players," said Jereme Quinnell, East Ridge's coach. "It's been a fun season and has allowed these players to learn more about the game of baseball."
"You never want to end the season with a loss, but I'm so proud of this team," said Nick Gehrt, Woodbury's coach. "I've helped them progress their game, but they've also helped me become a better coach."
The VFW teams are a chance for younger players to experience summer baseball with some of the best young talent around the state. These teams grow into varsity players for the high school teams as well as join the legion team once they're old enough.
The VFW league is an opportunity to teach these players the details of baseball and continue to watch them grow throughout the season. The majority of these players are eyeing a spot on the varsity team and this league gives them a chance to showcase some of their talent.
Quinnell and Gehrt have agreed that they've seen improvement and growth from each player on their two teams. The biggest thing heading into the offseason is to continue growth from the players so they're ready for the spring season.
"I'd like to see a lot of these players lift and hit the weight room more often to become a little bigger for the spring season," Quinnell said. "I saw a lot of improvement in hitting and pitching this season, but there's always room to grow."
As for the future, these players are the future for both East Ridge and Woodbury. The two coaches are excited because the future looks bright for each team with these players making their way up onto varsity teams.
"These players allow the Woodbury baseball program to have a bright future in the next three to four years," Gehrt said. "I'm just looking forward to those years for each of these players."