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Gowanda Sports Report for July 7

The Gowanda Merchants Baseball season continues to proceed at a snail's pace as more cancellations due to weather and personal conflicts have wreaked havoc with their early season schedule.

The Merchants, who are known as the Brewers in the Men's Senior Baseball League (MSBL), have only played three games through the first five weeks of the original 2013 schedule. It appears there will be plenty of make-up games in July. If the games are not made up within a two-week period after the postponement, the teams are saddled with a forfeit.

Since Major League Baseball began drafting players in 1965, two Gowanda Central graduates have been selected. One of the players was left-handed pitcher Jon Phillips Jr. Following his junior year at St. Bonaventure University, Phillips was chosen in the seventh round of the 1993 draft by the Houston Astros. He played three years in their minor league chain before a torn rotator cuff ended his career. Today, he is a physical education teacher in the Orchard Park School District and resides in Hamburg.

Gowanda Recreation begins on Monday, July 8 at St. John Park. The six-week program will run Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. There is no cost to attend except for the optional field trips. Children must be between the ages of 6-14 in order to register. Parent/guardians can fill out the necessary forms at St. John Park on July 8 or the first day of their child's attendance. Children from out of town who are visiting relatives are also welcome to attend at a fee of $1 per day. Call the Recreation office at 532-3431 for more information.

The Gowanda Co-ed Youth Soccer Program has completed their five-week spring session. A total of 41 children were taught the basic skills and had the opportunity to play games each week at the George Dispenza Memorial Field. The fall session will begin the second week in September. Children in grades K-6 are eligible to attend the program.

Summer vacation is now in full swing. GCS athletes are keeping busy by participating in off-season workouts and summer recreational leagues. The first official day of practice for fall sports begins on Monday, Sept. 19. Gowanda Central School offers football, co-ed cross country, cheerleading and volleyball in the fall. The school's athletic director is Kim Schon.

Although men's slow-pitch softball does not have an official league in the Gowanda area this year, several local players are competing in leagues at the Nike Base in Hamburg and in North Collins. The 17th Annual Gowanda Men's slow-pitch tournament was postponed on June 29 due to inclement weather. The tournament was rescheduled for Saturday, July 13. Call Mark Benton at 532-4053 to enter a team.
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