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B-A school district leaders honor championship hardballers

“It all started here, but you guys are the ones that deserve this.”
That was the statement made by Bellwood-Antis Superintendent of Schools Rodney Kuhns as he and the rest of the B-A school board honored the 2003 PIAA Class A baseball championship team last evening during the board’s regular meeting.
“It’s been a nice run for the baseball team,” said Kuhns. “They’ve been recognized by the state Senate and the House, and now it’s our turn. You all did a great job this year and we’re proud of your accomplishments.”
The Blue Devil hardballers capped off a 22-4 season with a 2-1 victory over Elk Lake on Monday, June 16, 2003 at Riverside Stadium in Harrisburg. It was B-A’s first state championship in any sport in the 66-year history of the school.
As recognition, the board presented head coach Steve Conlon and outfielder Ryan Myers with certificates to present to the rest of the team. According to Conlon, the majority of the players couldn’t attend last night’s recognition because they were involved in other baseball-related activities.
Team members include: Zach Stere, Ricky Shannon, Tyler McClellan, Adam DeArmitt, Nick Treese, Ryan Myers, Andy Brisbin, Chris Alley, Derrick Miller, Nate Carlson, Shawn Weiand, Adam Plummer, Ryan Kenawell and Tony DelGrosso. Coaches are Steve Conlon, Tim Weiand, Bill Edevane, Matt Ballos and Jeff Plummer. The batboy is Nate Plummer.
Also during the meeting, the board approved the purchase, not to exceed $3,000, of championship rings for each member of the team and its coaches.
Hayes was present at the meeting to show board members examples of rings that are being looked at. He showed the rings the State College boys’ basketball team were awarded with last year, as well as the rings given to the Ellwood City baseball team that won its Class AA championship this year. Both rings are made of 23 karat gold and is encrusted with diamonds.
“We’re looking at having a large number one on the front of the stone,” said Hayes, “but a good number of the kids want to have ‘B-A’ on the stone with the number one on the side.”
According to Hayes, it’s a common practice for a district to award championship rings to their sports teams, noting that some districts even award the jewelry when their teams didn’t win state championships.
Hayes noted that everyone on the team will possess the same ring and that members of the community can also purchase the hardware.
Hayes noted that he is currently in the process of looking into signs proclaiming the championship to be placed within the community. Board members questioned whether it would be better to have free-standing signs or to put the signs on already existing structures, such as the ones showing the 1999 state championship football team of Tyrone.
Hayes said it would be less expensive to attach the signs to already standing structures and occurrences of vandalism would be much less.
The board also passed a motion to construct a new trophy case inside the school to house the championship trophy. The amount to build the trophy case should not exceed $1,000.