BUCKHANNON – In what has now become an annual event for the Buckhannon Post 7 American Legion baseball team, they marched in this year’s Upshur County Veteran’s Day Parade held on Monday.
The idea to march in the parade was designed by current Post 7 general manager Kevin Boring.
“Last year’s parade was our first time marching and we decided to march again this year,” remarked Boring. “As team manager over the years I have been blessed to have good coaches and good people helping me with the boys including Ray Seech, Trahern White, Mike Logsdon, Josh Burnside, Todd Lane, former commander Bob Post and current commander Carroll Westfall. Coaches Adam Squires and Mike Gitzen at the high school have also been very supportive and helpful when they are able.
“Former Buckhanon-Upshur standout and Division 1 pitcher Dalton Westfall has helped at times when his schedule allows. I mention those people because the Legion Baseball program is a unique cooperation between the high school program, Post 7 and our community.
“While baseball is the primary focus, we try and teach the team life lessons. Like consistent hard work on the fundamentals of the game, being a good teammate, respecting teammates, coaches and umpires. All these things have direct impact on the lives of these players. If they learn the benefits of working at baseball that can translate into their school work, helping at home and in the job market. If they can stay positive with baseball when times get tough in their lives they will be able to overcome.”
Boring, who just finished his third year as manager of Post 7, has been strengthening the ties between his team and the legionnaire members who support it.
As well as showing their support by marching in the parade, Boring held a Veteran’s Recognition Ceremony during Post 7’s final home baseball game this past year to honor the veterans.
“We feel it is very important to make a strong connection is with the our local Post 7 and all veterans,” noted Boring. “These are the people that laid it on the line for us and our country. They not only talked the talk but they walked walk. They readily put themselves in harm’s way to protect us. The biggest lesson I try to teach these boys - honor and respect our veterans. We play the game, we play to our best ability but we play for our Post 7 veterans and all veterans out there. We just want to honor them and let them know how much we appreciate them.”
Boring will begin his fourth year as mentor of the Post 7 baseball team which will get their season underway the first week of June.
“It seems the relationship between our players and our team gets stronger with the local legion chapter and the veterans each year and we wouldn’t want it any other way.”