Wickliffe Baseball League celebrates rejuvenation with splash party BY TIMOTHY W. SHIRER SPORTS EDITOR For years people have said baseball is dying and that the youth of United States does not want to play America's national pastime anymore. Don't tell that to the kids in Wickliffe. The Wickliffe Baseball League headed by Ed Zivnoska celebrated its season with a splash party on June 16th at Coulby Park. One of the reasons for the celebration was that the league was once again growing. The Wickliffe Baseball League grew by nearly 17% in 2012 with 60 more kids signed up to play in the league from the previous year. There are 360 kids in the league in 2012, approximately 216 boys and 144 girls.
The league consists of four boys divisions and three divisions for the girls. 16 boys’ teams compete in the four divisions and 10 girls teams compete in the three girls divisions. The Wickliffe Baseball League competes against other teams in the Western Reserve Baseball League.
Several Wickliffe teams made the championship round of the WRBL playoffs, including the boys’ minor team the Advanced Driving School "Dirtbags" led by Coach Dale Grill. The "Dirtbags" fell just short losing in the finals to Willowick. Two teams from Wickliffe competed in the WRBL Majors championship series and Seasonal Sporting Goods coached by Tom Colbert won the title 2-1.
The Wickliffe Baseball League also had all-star teams at almost every level and traveled to tournaments throughout the area. The Wickliffe Baseball League also held its boy’s tournament the weekend of July 6th through the 8th. The Wickliffe Minor 10u team coached by Dave Dzomba won the championship defeating Orange in the minor division. The Wickliffe girl’s tournament was held the weekend of July 20th through 22nd.
Zivnoska says that he wants the Wickliffe Baseball League to become the feeder program for the Wickliffe High School teams. Zivnoska grew up in Euclid during it's heyday as one of the best little league and high school program’s in the area. He says he wants the kids in Wickliffe to experience what he did as a child. Zivnoska went on to say he wants teams from other cities be "afraid of Wickliffe."
The splash party was fun for all of the kids involved, but also had a serious side. Every family who attended was asked to bring a canned food to donate. All of the food donated went to Mt. Carmel Church and Vineyard Church.
Zivnoska says the league is making progress and has come a long way in his five years as president. He said that many people help him a long the way and he said the league could not have accomplished what it did in 2012 without help from three men, Dave Abramczyk, Rick Bunn and Dale Grill.