GREAT FALLS — Electric City Baseball Academy (website) members and a slew of volunteers have broken ground on restoring Don Olson Field for tryouts and the upcoming season.
The Academy, or ECBA for short, fosters a positive environment for Great Falls youth interested in baseball. They accept kids ages eight to eighteen.
“We have a great draw to the community and we want to get as many kids playing baseball as we can. Then as much of the community out to watch them as well,” says ECBA president Jordan Hollern.
It takes a team to restore Don Olson Field, which has been battered by a long winter. Groups worked hard at breaking up ice and snowpack, while others trimmed grass, raked dirt, and cleaned the dugout.
“It’s a total team effort, with everyone from every level,” says senior outfielder Lane Seim. “All the young kids, all the older kids getting together. In practice, we’re split with pitching and hitting, but here everyone is working on a common goal.”
Head coach Tony Forster sees this pre-season activity as a way to bolster camaraderie and mature the teams.
“We got a bunch of younger kids out here too, and with them interacting with the older kids, I think it brings our program a little closer together,” says Coach Forster.
While the field was being restored, High School House instructor Pete Pace was hard at work, taking measurements for a new concession stand roof. The previous one had been ripped apart by strong 75-mile per hour wind gusts.
Hollern is proud to conduct his non-profit organization. Through the generosity of the city of Great Falls, the ECBA is able to construct corporate sponsors for kids who need help raising money to play during the season.
“Since we’re not affiliated with the school, we have to raise our own money to play,” says Hollern. For this Spring, we’re looking for corporate sponsors at all levels.”
Barring any severe changes in the forecast, the baseball teams hope to be taking their first outdoor at-bats of the season by the middle of this week.
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