On a pristine late spring evening, June 13, a baseball team of 10- and 11-year old boys and girls from the Onamia area christened the new Onamia baseball park — Soo Line Field — with a game against a team from Princeton.
It didn’t matter who won or lost the game, (although Onamia won 11-9) the boys and girls who played, the parents and fans who showed up to root for their children and those who fought to get this field built and playable were the winners that evening.
Much of the credit for spearheading this ball park project and building the teams who will play on this field goes to area resident Brian Miner. He his currently fielding four separate young teams who will play during the summer months. Those teams include a T-Ball team, a 9-year-old and under squad, a team of 10- and 11-year olds, and 12- and 13-year olds who are mainly sixth and seventh-graders. Volunteering to help Miner are Reed Pederson, Chad Calander, as well as Derek and Roberta Kightlinger.
“What we are hoping to achieve with these programs is to give kids a chance to play ball for fun and at the same time improve their skills in the sport,” Miner said.
Miner believes the fruits of the coach’s labor of love will show in a few years at the Onamia High School level when Panther baseball teams and the combined Isle/Onamia softball teams will be strong contenders in their leagues.