BY JESS KIRCHHOFF
On Friday night, the Hays Larks opened their 75th year with a game against the Colorado Roughnecks, winning 10-1. Head Coach Frank Leo summed up the game saying the Larks played a very solid game.
“[We] did a lot of good things. We hit for power, ran the bases well, made several good defensive plays and pitching was outstanding,” he said.
The Larks are a local baseball team made up of players from all over the country and even other parts of the world. This wide range roster could prove to be difficult to manage, but under the coaching staff of Leo and Pitching Coach Keith Harper, matched with the support given throughout the community, the Larks prove to be a consistently victorious team.
Friday night was no exception to this pattern.
Leo said managing a team with so many different players each year is a challenge.
“We have players who play here in the states and three are from France, Netherlands, and Canada,” Leo said. “The team is bonding quickly and that is always neat to see how 25 guys who come from different schools become a team.”
This team bond was evident on and off the field with players constantly joking with each other as well as making an impressive first appearance.
However, the game was not the only thing Leo commented on about the night, saying he could not express his gratitude more toward the community.
“The community support is outstanding,” Leo said. “The opening crowd of 2000 really created an exciting atmosphere for the game. Our businesses who provide free admission to our games are very supportive of our program and we could not put this program on the field each summer without their financial support.”
Leo also wanted to make sure to mention the team’s host families saying how appreciative the Larks are for the families who host the team’s players.
“It is always great to see how our players fit in with their host families,” Leo said. “Many families keep in touch with their families over the years.. They are the backbone to our program.”
Leo said it will be fun to watch the team develop as the season progresses.
The Larks went 3-0 on the weekend and will next play a four-game swing in Colorado June 11-14.
More information regarding the Hays Larks and a complete schedule of games can be found on their website.