Montrose senior legion finishes season

The Montrose senior legion team poses for its team picture for the 2013 season. Front Row, left to right: Kyle Watkins, Justin Hartman, Sal Vetri, Mike Vanness, Matt Laubach, Nick Henry. Back row, left to right: Coach Rick Vanness, Matt Simonds, Zach Loomis, Damian Daley, Dale Harder, Nick Myers, Manager Bill Watkins, and coach Ryan Sodan. Not pictured Matt Lewis, Ethan Stankiewicz, Korey Stimmel, and Pete McGee.

The Montrose senior legion team poses for its team picture for the 2013 season. Front Row, left to right: Kyle Watkins, Justin Hartman, Sal Vetri, Mike Vanness, Matt Laubach, Nick Henry. Back row, left to right: Coach Rick Vanness, Matt Simonds, Zach Loomis, Damian Daley, Dale Harder, Nick Myers, Manager Bill Watkins, and coach Ryan Sodan. Not pictured Matt Lewis, Ethan Stankiewicz, Korey Stimmel, and Pete McGee.

BY JOHN LUND

The Montrose Post 154 senior legion team finished its regular season Wednesday, July 17. The team played this season in the District 6 Broome County American Legion league out of New York.

Montrose defeated Oxford/Norwich 11-7 in its final game and ended the regular season with a 4-6 record.

Head coach Bill Watkins viewed this season as a success, despite his team’s final record.

“We had a pretty young team this year but we certainly held our own,” Watkins said. “We enjoyed playing up there (in New York.)”

Montrose Post 154 has been bounced around between several districts in recent years. They originally played in District 11 before forming their own league in District 15. After that league folded because of lack of teams, Montrose received permission from both PA and NY to play in Broome County.

Harry Ehrie, a member of Post 154 and the Sons of The American Legion, helped with the decision to transfer districts.

“The competition and travel times are very comparable to the leagues we’ve played in the past,” Ehrie said. “We were just happy to give the kids a great opportunity to play in a competitive league.”

Some of the players from this year’s senior team were members of last year’s junior legion team that took second place in the Scranton league and played in districts at Kutztown.

Watkins said the real success of the program starts long before legion baseball.

“I give a lot of credit to the youth programs of Montrose,” Watkins said. “If the kids are having fun early on they’ll stay to play in little league, junior high, high school, etc.”

Watkins has coached the senior legion team for three years, and is also the former President and current Vice President of the Montrose little league. He’s coached teams from t-ball through senior ball and shows no signs of slowing down.

“I love the game of baseball and love the kids that I get to coach,” Watkins said. “It’s my stress-free relax time.”

Ehrie also noted that the support Post 154 and the SAL provide for its programs shouldn’t be taken for granted.

“Dave Jenner is the commander for Post 154 and they have given us great support for 20 plus years,” Ehrie said. “The Sons of The American Legion has also supported the junior legion team for almost a decade. It’s definitely much appreciated.”

The status for where Montrose Post 154 will play next season is still up the air. Montrose will have the option to petition to return to District 11 play, or choose to stay with District 6 in New York. The decision will be voted on sometime next year.