Gooding starts first ever Legion baseball team

“We’re just excited to have another level of baseball here in Gooding to help the high school team out”
Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:06 PM MDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:07 PM MDT
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GOODING, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Gooding started their high school baseball program five seasons ago. Now, an American Legion program has blossomed.

“Baseball’s really new to Gooding itself, so we’re just excited to have another level of baseball here in Gooding to help the high school team out,” said Gooding Diamondbacks Head Coach Cameron Knigge.

The Gooding Diamondbacks are a B Legion team, featuring mostly seventh through ninth graders. The squad played their inaugural home games Monday night against Jerome.

Many of the kids playing for Gooding have been on the diamond with each other for a long time.

“Honestly it’s not even a friend group anymore. The group that we have know, we’ve just been together for years and we’ve just kind of become a big family,” said Cody Gallup, a Diamondback player who just finished his freshman year of high school.

With more options to play ball, the game could see more growth in the area.

“More people are going to get into it because it’s better competition and they can have a chance to get better at the game,” said Zaeden Gonzales, who will be an eighth-grader next year.

Playing with Parks and Recreation, where the fundamentals are taught, isn’t being left behind by a Legion program.

“With our Park and Rec for Gooding, we’ve seen an increase of the number of kids that are playing, they have an extra Majors team this year, like a fifth and sixth grade team, and an extra Minors team,” Knigge said. “So, I think there’s just excitement that we have now high school baseball and then on top of that obviously Legion.”

Knigge thanked the players, parents and community members in helping get the Legion program started.

“Our goal next year is to have a Single-A Legion here in Gooding and on top of it maybe a Junior Legion as well,” Knigge said.

The teams next home games will be in a doubleheader next Wednesday against Wendell.

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