THORNVILLE – Thornville Youth Recreation Association President Tim Cooperrider told Thornville Village Council members Monday night that the organization had a great year for baseball. There will also be a meeting Sept. 15, 6 p.m., to determine if TYRA will share the Thornville baseball field with the Timberwolves baseball program.
Previously, Thornville Mayor Gavin Renner said the village has agreements with two different baseball organizations for use of the facilities at the village park. The Thornville Youth Recreation Association (TYRA) has been an active partner of the village since the 1970s. It is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing co-ed youth baseball to the area. The other group was organized more recently. The Timberwolves is a private travel baseball team made up primarily of players from the Thornville, Glenford, and Millersport area.
“I think it was a successful year,” said Cooperrider. He said in his first year as president, there was one past due electric bill. “When I start off the year, we have to make sure we have plenty of money. This can’t happen again,” he said.
Cooperrider said there was a $300 electric bill, but only $108 in the account. He said he spent the year raising money for TYRA. Cooperrider said this summer TYRA had 200 kids, 28 sponsors and 16 teams, which were competitive with Glenford and Somerset. “Thornville baseball kicked butt this year,” he said, adding that a couple teams were in first place. “We really played pretty good ball this year.”
Cooperrider said when he grew up in Thornville, it was tough to find coaches and many kids who wanted to play didn’t have the opportunity because they couldn’t play well enough to make a team with limited members. Now, every team has three to five coaches. “We have more than enough,” he said. “You didn’t see that 25 or 30 years ago.”
Cooperrider said TYRA was able to purchase more equipment, such as an additional pitching machine, a batting cage, picnic tables, and concession supplies, as well as replace outdated baseball equipment. He said he would apply for an energy co-op grant up to $10,000, talk to the Moose organization about funding, and maybe sponsor a fundraiser.
Thornville Administrator Beth Patrick said there would be a meeting Sept. 15 to discuss the Timberwolves’ use of Thornville’s baseball facility. “I’m not sure they even want to use our field,” she said. “I just want to get ahead of this, this time.”
Cooperrider said TYRA has 16 teams. “It makes it more difficult for everybody when you have two organizations using the same field,” he said.
Patrick said Thornville Parks and Recreation Committee members should attend the Sept. 15 meeting. “I don’t even know if (the Timberwolves) are interested,” she said.
Council President Mary Renner said she would like to see the teams discuss the situation. “I would like to see as many people playing on the ball field as possible,” she said. “I’m a big advocate for local teams.”
Cooperrider said local youths have a fair chance to play baseball. “If your kid wants to play, he can play,” he said.
Renner said she’s just trying to make it fair for everyone.
Cooperrider asked council to make it easy for TYRA, and said working around other organizations for ball field access is a “headache.”
Council member Lynne Snider asked if new coaches are fingerprinted and background checked.
Cooperrider said no.
“I have an issue with that,” Snider said.
Cooperrider said the coaches are community members whom everyone knows, and it doesn’t seem fair to ask a volunteer to pay $50 or $60 for a background check.
Snider said it’s important to think about it, at least for the head coaches.