State board keeps Plato in Class B

December 1, 2008

by Aaron Schultz

The Minnesota Amateur Baseball Association state board hosted its most recent meeting Nov. 22 in St. Cloud.

At this meeting the Plato Blue Jays, members of the Crow River Valley League, petitioned the state board to move back down to Class C.

Just to catch everybody up, Plato won the Class C state championship in 2007.

After winning the state title, the board voted to move Plato up to Class B for two seasons, while giving the Blue Jays the right to petition to move back down to Class C after this past season.

Plato played a complete CRVL regular season schedule this past year, but then moved to the Class B playoffs following the regular season.

The Blue Jays competed in a section that included Marshall and Mankato.

They were able to hold their own in Class B, coming with-in one game of advancing to the Class B state tournament.

That nice playoff run, no doubt, hurt the Blue Jays attempt to get back down to Class C.

So, Nov. 22 came and Plato co-managers Brian “Boomer” Graupmann and Eric Engelmann made their way to St. Cloud to the meeting.

After an extended discussion concerning their status for the upcoming season, state board member Dave Hartmann made a motion to keep Plato in Class B for the 2009 season.

Fred Roufs seconded the motion, and it passed with an 8-1 vote. The lone board member voting against was Bob Zellmann.

While Plato will remain in Class B for another season, they won’t have to deal with the likes of traveling to Mankato and Marshall come August.

The reason? Well, the board granted Plato’s request to move sections, and placed them in Section 8B.

Section 8B includes Hutchinson, Dassel-Cokato, Delano, Maple Lake, and St. Michael – all members of the North Star League.

For some time now, the sixth member of Section 8B was Hamel, but the board will move Hamel to a new section.

What does this mean for Plato, the CRVL, and the NSL Class B teams?

Nothing is set in stone since the state board could go ahead and change their minds at the next meeting.

However, with that said, the way it looks like it will shake out after talking to Boomer after the meeting, has Plato playing a full Section 8B schedule.

Should Plato do that, then they would play every team in the CRVL once.

That wouldn’t affect the North Division, but in the South, instead of playing every team twice, it would drop to one game against each squad.

As of now, that is the most likely scenario, but stay tuned, you never know what could happen in the months leading up to the 2009 season.

Radius changed to 30 miles in 2009

In other business at the Nov. 22 state board meeting, the board changed the radius teams have to sign players from 25 to 30 miles.

The new radius will be from the ballpark to the player’s address.

Then, to standardize the mileage, everyone will be required to use the web site www.gpsvisualizer.com.

Therefore, any mileage 30 miles or under is legal.

The old radius was from city limit to city limit.

I like what the board did with this, standardizing this rule. It’s about time, and a good move.

Team that knocked out LP/HT takes second

The Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity Bulldogs’ football team fell to Royalton in the Section 4A semifinals.

Well, LP/HT wasn’t the only team Royalton knocked out, as they advanced to the Prep Bowl to play for the Class 1A state championship Friday.

However, Royalton’s magical season came to an end with a 33-22 loss to Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg.