The Livingston School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the creation of a baseball program at Park High School.
Funding for the program is to be generated by donations with a goal of $30,000. The Park High baseball season will officially start in the spring of 2024.
The American Legion Braves Baseball organization is working with the district to develop the program.
“We are working with the schools to help make this a successful program,” said Legion Braves Baseball President Adam Stern in a press release. “We have a great group of student-athletes that are excited to play baseball at a high level, and I believe we will be competitive from day one.”
Games will be played at the Legion field in Jack Weimer Park in the Northern Lights subdivision, and the Legion team has all the equipment and facilities necessary to support high school baseball, according to the press release.
“We have received a huge amount of support from the community for building this program,” Stern said in the release. “We will first focus on raising funds for year one, and then work to make this a sustainable program for the future.”
Stern said one of the candidates to become the head baseball coach is Ryan Anderson, the president of First Interstate Bank in Livingston. Anderson played professionally in Australia and Japan and “has tons of baseball and coaching experience,” Stern said in a Tuesday text message. The formal hiring of Anderson has not happened yet, said Park High Athletic Director Nate Parseghian.
At Tuesday’s board meeting, a member of the audience asked about gender equity. Parseghian replied that with the implementation of girl’s wrestling in 2020, there is an imbalance of having more programs for girls than boys.
“I asked the state to look at our numbers again, and the state said we’ll remain compliant for quite a while,” Parseghian said.
Four members of the audience expressed support for the baseball program and none opposed it.
Stern told the Livingston Enterprise he’s been involved with baseball in Livingston for 13 years — every since his son started with T-ball.
Parseghian said the plan is to raise $30,000 by July 15, when they have to be approved by the Montana High School Association, which is the governing body of high school athletics in the state.
“When we notify MHSA that we want to play baseball, we want to feel confident that we’re going to have it,” Parseghian told the board.
Reached Wednesday by telephone, Anderson said he was very excited to potentially coach the Park High Rangers in baseball.
“I’m currently coaching a Legion baseball team with high school kids age 15 and up,” said Anderson. “I’m doing this for the boys. Our big goal is to develop kids and introduce them to baseball. It’s a great game and it teaches you about life in general. It’s the only sport where you can fail 70% of the time and still be considered great.”
“We want to support young minds and help these guys be successful,” said Anderson. “We’re still working on the logistics, but we’re excited about getting started and creating a successful baseball program.”
For more information, including how to donate, visit www.parkhighbaseball.org.
Enterprise Managing Editor John Carroll contributed to this report.
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