• Last modified 1051 days ago (Aug. 4, 2021)


Boys of summer take their dads to school

Staff writer

Twelve members of a county baseball travel team took on their fathers Friday during their final game.

Marion County Spikes trounced their elders 19-5 Friday during their second annual father-son game.

“I came up with the idea of having the boys play their dads so they can see progress their sons have made during the season,” coach Jerry Mendoza said.

The Spikes went 7-6 this summer in tough tournaments against traveling teams from Buhler, Inman, and Pratt.

“They provided very good competition,” he said. “I was very proud of these young men.”

Triple-digit heat challenged the Spikes as much as their league rivals did.

“We played Buhler on turf, so it was more than 120 degrees out there,” he said. “We needed a lot of hydration, that’s for sure.”

The heat was still on Friday with temperatures cooling just 2 degrees below 100 by the game’s 6 p.m. start time.

Entering Marion High sophomore Trevor Schafers relished a second chance to beat their father’s team.

“Were having a lot of fun whoopin’ up on dads,” he said as he waited his turn at bat.

Jared Smith, father of Cole Smith, ran into the dugout panting and helped himself to water.

“I’m out of shape,” he said laughing. “It’s fun, though.”

Smith coached seven of the team’s 12 members since they were first-graders. He coached 9-year-old son Max in the city’s coach pitch league this summer.

The Spikes are a young team with a roster of entering high school freshman and sophomores, he said.

“There still might be some growing pains,” Smith said. “Next year could be rough, but when they are juniors and seniors they will be good to watch.”

Several of the team’s boys are the kind of versatile, multi-sport athletes who are the dream of any coach.

“Seven of these kids grew up playing every sport their entire lives,” Smith said. “They will be fun to watch.”

Ed Svitak filled in for father Greg Holub, who couldn’t play after recent hip surgery.

The father-son game was the first time Svitak played baseball with a team since high school.

At 54, Svitak was glad to head outfield.

“I’m out in the right field where it’s quiet,” he quipped.

Svitak admitted the game wasn’t going well for the dads as he watched the boys score another run.

“Oh, I think they are getting us,” Svitak said. “But we are hanging in there.”

Gentry Holub, 15, was delighted the boys were clearly ahead at the top of the second.

An entering junior, Gentry plans to go out for Marion High School football and baseball.

He did not agree the dad’s team was “holding on” as the Spikes ran up the score.

“They are not,” he said. “Because we are better than them.”

Cooper Bailey volunteered to pitch during the Spike’s last game.

“It’s been very hot, but we’ve all had fun,” Bailey said of the season.

Caleb and his father, Michael Darrow, both played center field Friday.

He already is looking forward to his sophomore year at Marion High where he plans to go out for football, wrestling and baseball.

“I really am very excited,” he said.

Last modified Aug. 4, 2021