WESTOVER — When the WesMon baseball Little League dissolved about seven years ago, there was a lot of uncertainty that surrounded whether the popular youth league would return to Westover.
The fields in Westover City Park lay dormant for a couple years, and no baseball was being played.
After some time, the city of Westover wanted to turn the fields into a park for public use.
At that point, a group that had worked with WesMon baseball in the past stepped in.
“John Bowers was the first president of WesMon when we came back,” current WesMon Little League president J.R. Fisher said. “They put together a league about three years ago to bring (WesMon) baseball back to Westover Park.”
On Saturday April 14, WesMon Little League began its 2018 season with an Opening Day ceremony at Westover City Park.
“They got together and brought the league back, and here we are, we’re starting our third season and every year we’ve grown,” Fisher said.
Since the league’s return, the city has contributed by making several improvements to the park. This year, it added new staircases around the baseball fields and tore down the old Greer Pavilion.
“There’s quite a bit of history with WesMon baseball with Westover residents and the people of this community,” Fisher said. “We can’t be more thankful for the city for everything they’ve done for us.”
As part of the Opening Day ceremony, WVU basketball star Sagaba Konate and WVU baseball players Jimmy Galusky, Kevin Brophy, Carter Camp and Connor Dotson all threw first pitches to ring in the WesMon Little League season.
Galusky, who hails from Arthurdale, in Preston County, is a former WesMon Little League player himself.
The WesMon season will run through late May and the beginning of June. Then, the WesMon all-star teams will be chosen, and all-star play will begin the last week of June and go into early July.
This year, the league will have almost 600 kids playing on 48 teams.
Those teams are divided into two tee-ball divisions, a Machine-Pitch Minor division, a Kid-Pitch Minor division, and a Major division. There is also one Junior team consisting of 13- and 14-year-olds, but that team plays competitively and travels around the region to face other similar teams.
“The premier division for WesMon is the Major division, which is kids anywhere from 9-12 (years old),” Fisher said.
One T-ball division is for 4-year-olds who are first-year learners, while the second division is for 5- and 6-year-olds who are in their second year of tee-ball.
The Machine-Pitch Minor division consists of 7- and 8-year-olds, and the Kid-Pitch Minor division is for 9-11-year-olds.