by Chris Collins
The 8-year-old and under travel baseball team of the Nordonia Hills Athletic Association won its own Nordonia Bash tournament in early June and has racked up an impressive record of 23-2-2 for the season. The team also won the Solon Comet Classic baseball tournament in late June.
One of the two losses this season was in a Sandusky tournament to a team from Pennsylvania regarded as one of the best in that state.
Coach Mike Brumfield noted that six of the players played on the league’s under U7 travel team last year and built on that experience for this year’s success.
“They are a great group of athletes,” Brumfield said, “and a lot of fun to coach.” He added that at the 8U level, the kids do the pitching and play by professional baseball rules, except stealing bases is not allowed.
He said that in the four years he has coached the 8U travel teams in the NHAA, “This is probably the best defensive team I’ve seen over those four years.”
Brumfield has coached in the NHAA for eight years and has two sons on travel baseball teams and a daughter who played on softball travel teams. He also coached the league’s 11U baseball team this season. The league’s travel teams play other travel teams throughout Northeast Ohio.
Brumfield’s biggest satisfaction in coaching comes from seeing his team make a good play. “Seeing their faces when they do something they didn’t think they could do, that’s the best part about it,” he said.
NHAA’s recreation boys’ baseball and girls’ softball teams begin with T-Ball for preschoolers and continue through high school age. There are currently eight boys’ baseball travel teams and four girls’ softball travel teams.
NHAA league President Jim Filisky said the association’s travel teams have done well in recent years. He added that he likes the program’s local emphasis and enjoys seeing kids at different places around the community wearing their team hats during the off-season. ∞
Photo: The Nordonia Hills Athletic Association’s 8U travel baseball team poses after winning the Solon Comet tournament. Front row (l-r): Declan McGreevy, Will Voll, Blake Brumfield, Teddy Biel, Jude Cleland and Owen Beard. Middle row (l-r): Collin Canzoni, Theo Lowis, Jack Tagliaferro, Liam Gilchrist and AJ Haas. Back row (l-r): Tommy Biel, Joe Tagliaferro, Mike Brumfield, Luke Cleland, Jack Gilchrist and Pat Beard. Photo submitted.